FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles – On October 18, 2023, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded their endangerment findings regarding leaded aviation fuel used in aircrafts. The results of the EPA’s study are not unexpected for Pacoima Beautiful and several other environmental justice advocates in the San Fernando Valley who are calling for the closure of Whiteman Airport. After several airplane crashes in a densely residential area near the airport, Pacoima Beautiful the leading San Fernando Valley Environmental Justice organization, is calling for further measures to be taken to protect children and their families from leaded-fuel used on recreational flights departing from Whiteman Airport.
Pacoima Beautiful commends the EPA’s findings linking emissions from leaded aviation fuel operated aircrafts cause or contribute to air pollution. Since the EPA’s findings, concerns continue to be raised regarding public safety and health impacts to residents living next to the runway at Whiteman Airport. The findings in the recent study underscore the urgent need for a concrete plan to pursue closure and address the public safety concerns that the Pacoima community has been raising.
“Finding out the EPA has confirmed the threat of leaded aviation fuel as a contributing source of air pollution that residents must face is deeply concerning. We are a community already heavily impacted by multiple sources of pollution and cannot afford to endure flights that are poisoning our children and families.,” says Policy Assistant and Pacoima resident, Teodora Reyes. “Pacoima deserves dignity and not another polluter poisoning our community. Now is the time for the LA County Board of Supervisors to protect their constituents and their health by address the ongoing public safety and health impact concerns by community. By mandating a blood-led level study on children living around a 1.5-mile radius to Whiteman Airport, we can begin to understand the impact in our community from the use of leaded-fuel in airplanes at Whiteman Airport. In the end, shutting down Whiteman Airport is about prioritizing people over pollution.”
As the convening organization of the Coalition to Shutdown Whiteman Airport, a community-led group, Pacoima Beautiful calls on the County of Los Angeles to close Whiteman Airport, mandate a Blood-lead level study in children residential area, and strive to ban leaded fuel at Whiteman Airport. We urge you to value the lives of people.
Clearly stated in the EPA’s press release on the findings, “When it comes to our children the science is clear, exposure to lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Aircraft that use leaded fuel are the dominant source of lead emissions to air in the country. Today’s proposal is an important step forward as we work to reduce lead exposure and protect children’s health.”
We can’t agree more, protect children’s health. To that end, we urge the LA County Board of Supervisors to act swiftly and stand on the right side of history, mandate a county sponsored peer-reviewed study on blood-lead levels in Pacoima children living near Whiteman Airport and mandate a flight curfew to mitigate the noise pollution. The EPA’s study underscores the urgent need to investigate the situation in Pacoima to protect our community's most vulnerable members.
Click here for more about the Coalition to Shutdown Whiteman Airport
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About Pacoima Beautiful
Pacoima Beautiful is a grassroots environmental justice organization that provides education, impacts local policy, and supports local arts and culture in order to promote a healthy and sustainable San Fernando Valley.
Associated Program: Shutdown Whiteman Airport