Eyewitness Newsmakers examines environmental hazards at Jordan High School in Watts

Marc Brown Image
ByMarc Brown via KABC logo
Sunday, September 4, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

On the latest edition of Newsmakers, we're talking to students from Jordan High School in Watts and experts about what's being done to fix the environmental hazards in their community.

WATTS, Calif. (KABC) -- As we've reported over the last month, hundreds of students and teachers who attend Jordan High School in Watts are exposed daily to levels of lead 75 times what's considered toxic.

On the latest edition of Newsmakers, we're talking to students and experts about what's happening, what's being done to fix it and how the Watts community as a whole is suffering.

Eyewitness Newsmakers with Marc Brown airs on ABC7 Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Los Angeles Unified School District said testing it commissioned found lead concentrations on the campus 75 times higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency defines as a hazardous threshold. In 2020, it filed a lawsuit to recover funds it has spent on cleaning up the contamination.

Atlas also faces a lawsuit from the State Department of Toxic Substances Control. In 2020, the agency accused Atlas of violating the Health and Safety Code regarding illegal disposal, storage, and treatment of hazardous waste.

The Coalition for Healthy Families has repeatedly called for officials to go beyond civil litigation.

"Criminal action, so that we can go ahead and shut down the site, but more importantly, so that we can clean up the site and ensure that our students have a safe place to go to school," said Ingrid Rivera-Guzman, the president of the Latino Coalition of Los Angeles and member of the coalition.

READ ALSO | 'Epitome of neglect:' Coalition raises environmental health concerns in Watts, urges leaders to act