May 10, 2017
10:00 pm / 11:00 pm
43-105 Center for Health Sciences (CHS) UCLA
COEH & Dept of Environmental Health Sciences 411 present:
“Conflicting Interests: Refinery Disasters, Exide Contamination and Policy Agendas”
About the lecture: Industry pollution and industrial disasters affect both workers and the surrounding community with potentially disastrous consequences. Proposed strategies to mitigate exposure confront a complex web of interests – polluting industries, worker safety and job security concerns, community and environmental justice groups’ concerns about cumulative environmental health impacts, and policy agendas. We discuss the challenges of navigating these complex dynamics in two settings in the L.A. region:
LA’s South Bay is home to the largest concentration of refineries in the state of California that, together, produce a third of the state’s oil refining capacity. Five are concentrated in areas populated by low-income communities of color and subject to cumulative impacts from other fossil fuel pollution sources including ports, diesel trucking, and more. Refineries, the largest stationary sources of smog precursors and sites of recent fire/explosion, pose unique risks to both workers and residents of surrounding communities. Environmental justice and labor groups have pushed for current policy initiatives to mitigate the hazards.
Exide, a lead-battery recycling facility, operated its Vernon facility for more than three decades with outdated pollution controls and repeated air quality and hazardous waste violations. Lead-containing emissions contaminated homes for years before it closed in 2015. Current plans are underway to sample 10,000 homes and other properties within a 1.7-mile radius of the plant, and to clean up at least 2,500 properties prioritized by soil lead levels and occupancy by young children or pregnant women. We discuss UCLA-LOSH programs in these two settings, and the challenges and opportunities from a university-based perspective.
About Dr. Delp: Dr. Linda Delp is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Dept. of Community Health Sciences at UCLA. She has more than 20 years’ experience creating bilingual health and safety education, curriculum development and community-based research programs with workers, students and community groups. At LOSH, she leads the NIEHS-funded Western Region Universities HazMat Training Consortium with programs from Alaska to Mexico and the Pacific Islands on hazardous waste, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and green jobs workforce development. Community-based research includes the role of workers and community members as advocates for occupational health and environmental justice policies.
About Dr. Sabty-Daily: Dr. Rania Sabty-Daily holds a PhD in Environmental Health sciences from UCLA and an MPH in Industrial Hygiene from UCLA. She oversees training programs and is a technical consultant on a variety of worker training projects at LOSH. She also collaborates with community partners including worker centers, labor unions and environmental justice organizations on initiatives such as ones related to refinery safety, and environmental career worker training. Her research experience is based in workplace, laboratory and community settings. Her current research focuses on the prevention of heat illnesses among day laborers. Her previous projects include occupational exposure assessment to chromate containing paint aerosol in the aerospace industry, use of community-based participatory approaches to assess environmental hazards in public housing and, mitigating near-roadway air pollutants in schools.