Thursday, December 30, 2010

Court Denies Appeal of Illegal Industrial Use Site

See the release below regarding illegal industrial use and the fight against a massive City of Vernon power plant:


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CONTACT: Rick Coca
(213) 473-7014 or

Councilmember José Huizar led environmental justice fight against concrete-recycling facility operating for years in Boyle Heights without proper permits, City one step closer to environmental justice victory

LOS ANGELES (LOS ANGELES (Dec. 28, 2010) — A California Court has denied the appeal of a concrete and asphalt crushing recycling plant, which for decades has generated tons of dust and other pollutants while operating in Boyle Heights without proper permits.

The appeal court’s recent decision means that the City of Los Angeles is one step closer to shutting down Shamrock Base Corporation, located on Mission Road, and scoring a victory for Boyle Heights’ residents. The City of Los Angeles took action against Shamrock after Councilmember Huizar called on the City to close the company down for illegally doing business in an area that is not zoned for recycling.

“The people of Boyle Heights deserve to live in a community that is free from illegal polluters,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “This court ruling means that another well-earned environmental justice victory for this community is close at hand.”

This latest ruling from the Division One, Second Appellate District Court of Appeal against Shamrock comes after an earlier trial court ruled in favor of the City when that court said that Shamrock Base Corporation did not have a vested right to expand its operations past its originally approved boundaries.

The Shamrock Base Corporation, which regularly stores large mounds of rubble reaching heights of 40 feet or more, was utilizing an illegal permit to operate in a non-industrial land use zone.

It is not certain whether Shamrock will appeal this latest ruling.

Boyle Heights’ residents also joined with surrounding communities to block an effort to build a massive power plant in the City of Vernon. Councilmember Huizar supported that effort and successfully introduced legislation that officially laid out the City of Los Angeles’ opposition to that power plant, which research showed would lead to three to 11 additional deaths per year in the surrounding communities of the proposed site.

A judge eventually ruled against the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s plan to sell pollution credits to the proposed Vernon Power Plant, as well as other hazardous waste facilities. Subsequently, plans for the proposed plant were withdrawn by Vernon officials in 2009.