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Public Comments Draft Environmental Impact Report Baldwin Hills Community Standards District August 19, 2008

The City Project, Dr. Robert Bullard and the Environmental Justice Resource Center of Clark Atlanta University, Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles, and NRDC have submitted public comments on the draft Environmental Impact Report concerning the Baldwin Hills Community Standards District to keep the Baldwin Hills green and clean for all for generations to come.

The City Project is proud to work with the Greater Baldwin Hills Alliance (“GBHA”), the National Latino Congreso, and a diverse and growing coalition to engage, educate, and empower the community to better ensure that the Baldwin Hills are clean and green for all for generations to come. We seek to protect human health, homes, and the environment and restore the area to parkland by regulating the existing Oil Field. This is the next best thing to prohibiting oil drilling in this diverse and densely-populated urban community. We put people and parks before oil profits.

Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP) plans to drill up to 1,000 new wells in the next 20 years, adding to its nearly 500 existing wells in the Baldwin Hills Oil Field.

The Alliance is working with elected officials and PXP to improve the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR or DEIR), and the County’s August 13, 2008, draft Community Standards District (draft August 13 CSD). “The County has decided to use its own version of a CSD as a base which will also incorporate all mitigation measures, selected provisions of the PXP CSD and the CSD prepared by the Greater Baldwin Hills Alliance.”

The Alliance is working to establish health and environmental standards; public accountability; monitoring; a health and environmental baseline; oversight of the oil operations; a built-in process to improve the regulations as new information and better technology becomes available to protect health and the environment; transition to parkland; improved aesthetics; respect for all neighbors; and equal justice for all.

The City Project is committed to work with the community to make the dream come true for the Baldwin Hills Park. The two-square mile Park would be the nation’s largest urban park in over 100 years. The Park will provide the remarkably diverse and park-poor region with much needed green space for recreation, conservation, education, and economic vitality. The Baldwin Hills Park is the greatest public works project in the history of a community that has long suffered from environmental degradation and discrimination. These public comments focus on these issues.

The community has struggled long and hard for a park in the Baldwin Hills. The City Project worked with the community to stop a power plant and save the Park in 2001, to stop a garbage dump in 2003, to save the Baldwin Hills Conservancy and its budget when a Governor’s commission threatened to abolish both in 2005, and to stop 24 new oil wells without adequate environmental review in 2007.

Strengthened by years of struggle, the community remains even more determined than ever to make the dream for a park in the Baldwin Hills come true for all to enjoy.

Easily accessible to millions of people, with stunning views of the Los Angeles basin, the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains, the Baldwin Hills offer a unique opportunity within a dense and diverse urban community that is park poor to create a world-class park and natural space for all the people of California to enjoy.

Download these public comments here.

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