South LA Commission imposes stringent rules on oil drilling site

Sentinel Peak Resources must build a 45-foot enclosure around the property

The site on Jefferson Boulevard (Credit: GoogleMaps)
The site on Jefferson Boulevard (Credit: GoogleMaps)

This wall will be built.

The South Los Angeles Planning Commission will require a private energy company to build a 45-foot enclosure around its oil production and drilling operation, which is closer to homes than any other facility of its kind in the city.

The company, Sentinel Peak Resources, had appealed the stringent measures, meant to mitigate noise and odors emanating from the site, the Los Angeles Times reported. The company, which bought the Jefferson Boulevard site in 2016, said the mitigation measures were not based on any “proof of violations or verifiable, ongoing nuisance,” according its appeal.

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The commission’s ruling cannot be appealed further, though the City Council could overrule it. Sentinel said the city could “expect a strong legal response,” according to the Times. The decision represents a major victory for residents, some who also voiced concerns about the chemicals used at the facility.

Sentinel will also have to continuously monitor noise, vibrations, and fumes. It has to notify the surrounding residents of results online in real time and alert the Los Angeles Fire Department if hydrogen sulfide or methane are detected.

The company said the 45-foot enclosure will require the relocation of power and telephone lines at the site, along with the removal of landscaping and some underground utilities.

Sentinel purchased another 1.1-acre drilling site in Arlington Heights in late 2016, about a two-mile drive from the Jefferson Boulevard site. The company is in talks with the city to close that location and convert it to an affordable housing complex. That site is directly across the street from the Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Studies, a public high school. [LATimes]— Dennis Lynch

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