LA Public Utility Methane Leak Poisons Sun Valley Community

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EcoJustice RadioRecently, the City of Los Angeles public utility admitted that its Valley Generating Station had been leaking methane gas into the community for three years. The utility knew about the leaks as part of efforts to fix two compressors, but failed to notify the community. Veronica Padilla-Campos, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful joins EcoJustice Radio for, “Broken Trust: LA Public Utility Methane Leak Poisons Sun Valley Community.”

Methane Leak at Valley Generating Station

The Future of the Leaking Valley Gas Plant

After news broke of a methane leak at the Valley Gas Plant, Pacoima Beautiful, a grassroots organization that had been working for decades for environmental justice for the San Fernando Valley, stepped up to organize protests. News of the methane leak at the Valley Generating Station spurred the community into action and garnered the support of elected officials including the Los Angeles City Council President. Pacoima Beautiful’s push to secure a clean energy future for the Northeast San Fernando Valley has resulted in Council President, Nury Martinez, submitting a motion calling for a sunset date for gas operation at the Valley Gas Plant. This is great news for residents of Sun Valley and is a major step towards a clean energy future for the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Sun Valley Methane Leak, EcoJustice Radio, Pacoima Beautiful

Podcast Website: http://ecojusticeradio.org/
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Hosted by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Episode 80
Image: Pacoima Beautiful

Updated 2 November 2020

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt