T – 04 – 16
Barbara A. Lee, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2016
Volunteers Trained by DTSC Canvass Boyle Heights Neighborhood
to Protect Public Health
LOS ANGELES – About 200 volunteers trained by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control canvassed the Boyle Heights neighborhood today. As a partnership with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, this week’s training enabled the volunteers to inform residents about lead contamination and collect “access agreements” that allow DTSC to conduct soil testing for lead on residential properties that may have come from the now-closed Exide facility in Vernon.
“Today’s event is a great example of the community involvement and local-state partnership that will be critical to successfully implement the Governor’s proposal for cleaning up Exide’s contamination and protecting the community,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matt Rodriquez.
Secretary Rodriquez, DTSC Director Barbara A. Lee, and Mayor Garcetti joined today’s Community Resource Fair and Neighborhood Walk in support of the volunteer work taking place to protect public health. A volunteer training took place at 9 a.m. at the Ramon Garcia Recreation Center and then volunteers fanned out into the Boyle Heights neighborhood to knock on doors.
“We have no time to waste. No one should have to live in fear of serious health risks from their own home and no child should be robbed of the joy of playing outside in their community,” said Mayor Garcetti. “My office will do everything possible to help the DTSC expedite the Exide cleanup and restore peace of mind for the residents of Boyle Heights.”
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently proposed a $176.6 million spending plan to fund expedited and expanded testing and cleanup of residential properties, schools, daycare centers, and parks around the former Exide battery recycling facility. All properties within a 1.7 mile radius of Exide will be tested for lead, and properties with high levels of lead in soil and high risk for exposure will be cleaned up.
DTSC is grateful to the volunteers who knocked on doors, provided information, and collected access agreements from residents. The access agreements give permission for soil sampling to occur and are key to determining if further work is needed to protect public health.
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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.
The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.