206452 Policy response to inequities in oil operation expansion in Los Angeles: A case study

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:00 AM

Lark Galloway-Gilliam, MPA , Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
David C. Sloane, PhD , Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Gwendolyn Flynn , REACH US Project, Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Bethany Ulrich , REACH US Project, Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
Research Question: What are community-driven policy solutions to environmental justice health threats?

Problem Statement: With chronic illness at rates higher than their outlying neighbors, the predominately African-American communities surrounding the Baldwin Hills Oil Field in Los Angeles County faced the proposition of 1,000 new oil wells, and sought to impose strict regulations. They faced the challenges of regulating a largely unregulated industry using new drilling technologies with unknown consequences to air, water, and human health.

Methods: After researching land-use, zoning, oil-drilling practices, and health implications, residents collaborated to strategize and gain consensus on policy priorities. With this new knowledge and advocacy capacity, residents met with county planners and provided white papers/letters commenting on county draft policies. They then created their own versions in response to those of the county.

Specific Conclusions: The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved a Community Standards District with a number of policy provisions offered by community residents that make what some call “the strictest document of its kind.”

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify two indicators that demonstrate health inequities and risks related to urban oil drilling operations exposure. 2. Describe four elements for effective collaboration to mitigate health risks of oil drilling technologies in a minority community. 3. Identify three challenges to regulating urban oil fields

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have held several positions organizing minority communities. In my current role as Community Liaison for Community Health Councils (CHC), a non-profit, community-based, health policy advocacy organization in Los Angeles, I implement the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH US) Project by engaging the vulnerable population of Baldwin Hills and South L. A. to remove environmental barriers to health. I am an active leader in participating in county hearings, contacting elected officials, spearheading postcard campaigns, and representing CHC at key events.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.