"Federal environmental officers were sickened by toxic vapors as they toured a south Los Angeles urban oil field whose emissions are blamed by neighbors for a variety of ailments, an EPA official said Friday." Those who visited the site, including Jared Blumenfeld, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, complained of "sore throats, coughing and severe headaches that lingered for hours."
"U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Friday urged [operator] Allenco to suspend operations immediately pending completion of an EPA investigation, which was prompted by hundreds of complaints from neighbors who blame the noxious odors for persistent respiratory ailments, headaches, nausea and nosebleeds," reports Louis Sahagun. The site, which sits amongst low-income housing and schools in close proximity to downtown L.A., is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
"The Catholic Church is a strong advocate for children," Boxer said. "Well, if you love children, you don't expose children to dangerous things."