Mapping the Toxic Emissions of the Los Angeles Basin

Knowledge is power when it comes to environmental justice, and a group of students from UCLA has recently armed residents of Los Angeles with a mapping tool that tracks the amount of toxins emitted by local factories.

"UCLA has launched a new interactive map tracking the impact of toxins from local factories on the environment in Los Angeles County. Developed by seven students, it details more than eight million pounds of toxic chemicals released into the environment during 2012," according to Lata Pandya.

"The group looked at the petroleum, chemicals, primary metals, and fabricated metals industries, which make up 89 percent of toxins in the county. With data from 172 facilities that are required to report toxin releases to the government, students developed an environmental impact rating system."

Included on the list is Exide Technologies, a battery recycler located in the city of Vernon just outside of Los Angeles. Exide had one of the highest scores on the rating, a 78. Last fall, the Los Angeles Times reported that Exide had poisoned potentially hundreds of thousands of residents with lead and arsenic (the Times now cites a 100,000 number). Exide and the Environmental Protection agency are continuing to wrangle over its hazardous waste permit, although the plant has been idle since March.

Full Story: New Map by UCLA Shows Factory Toxins in L.A. County


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