Recently, the City of Los Angeles public utility admitted that its Valley Generating Station had been leaking methane gas into the community for three years. Pacoima Beautiful [https://pacoimabeautiful.org/], a grassroots organization that had been working for decades for environmental justice for the San Fernando Valley, stepped up to organize protests. Gas plant neighbors include Sun Valley and Pacoima which are predominantly people of color. The environmental contamination and health impacts from the leaking methane are compounded by area landfills, trains, airplanes, industry pollution, and freeways. The residents live in an area that ranks in the 98 percentile of CalEnviroscreen’s most polluted communities in Los Angeles. Meaning they breathe some of California’s worst air and suffer from asthma-related hospitalizations at rates far higher than most of the state.
These environmental justice stories are not out of the ordinary and continue to happen throughout Southern California and across the US. The LA public utility pledged a full fix to the leak, increased methane monitoring, and quicker and more transparent communication with the public about such issues--but only after their secret leak was revealed to the public. Pacoima Beautiful’s push to secure a clean energy future for the Northeast San Fernando Valley has resulted in LA Council President, Nury Martinez, submitting a motion calling for a sunset date for gas operation at the Valley Gas Plant.
Our guest, Veronica Padilla-Campos is the Executive Director for Pacoima Beautiful, who attended UCLA where she received her urban planning degree knowing that she would return to her community of the Northeast San Fernando Valley to help allocate the right resources they deserve, demanding environmental justice and accountability.
Podcast Website: http://ecojusticeradio.org/
Support the Podcast: https://socal350.org/contribute-to-socal-350-climate-action/
Hosted by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Image: Pacoima Beautiful