Opponents of a South Los Angeles oil drilling site announced this week that a protest is being planned for Saturday at 1371 W. Jefferson Blvd. over what they say is the inaction of the city’s planning department to decide on a nuisance abatement petition filed more than a year ago.
Residents living near what is called the Jefferson drill site filed a petition for abatement of public nuisance in June 2016, claiming the operator of the site, Sentinel Peak Energy, is violating its land-use permits. The company, which bought the site in October from Freeport McMoRan, did not respond to a request to comment.
Residents who live near the site lined up in January at a city Office of Zoning Administration hearing about the petition to complain of health problems, excessive noise and pollution they say the facility is responsible for.
The petition asks the city to require that oil extraction at the site be completely enclosed, to mandate the use of quieter and less polluting electric rigs instead of diesel ones, and to provide publicly accessible air quality monitoring to track pollution at the site.
The petition also says these protections were granted decades ago to “Whiter, wealthier” neighborhoods on the Westside.
A letter from Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson was also read at the meeting.
“The residents of Council District Eight deserve a responsive government and a safe and healthy community,” Harris-Dawson wrote. “I share the frustration of my constituents in enduring these nuisances and threats to their safety and quality of life. I support local community residents in their request for the same protections afforded to constituents in drill sites located in other parts of the city.”
In January, a spokeswoman for Harris-Dawson said a report on the petition was expected to be issued within 75 days from a zoning administrator. Organizers of the protest said the city has “missed its deadline by three months and has failed to respond to community concerns. The protest will center around Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”