WATTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Students, activists and community leaders are not giving up their fight to close a scrap metal recycling plant in Watts.
Protesters on Monday gathered outside of Atlas Iron & Metal Co., which towers over Jordan High School.
Genesis Cruz is a student at Jordan High School. She will be graduating soon, but she's focusing on advocating for her classmates and surrounding communities.
"I hope this place could be shut down or relocated somewhere where it's not affecting other people," she said about the facility.
Alongside the Healthy Families Coalition, Cruz has been calling for the closure of Atlas Iron & Metal Co., the high school's decades-long neighbor.
Students like Cruz are concerned over dust, loud noise, contamination and projectiles.
"I have a teacher who her tire got popped due to a metal that flew all the way to the parking lot right here, and her tire was popped due to that," Cruz said.
During the summer, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office served a search warrant at the metal recycling center's property, suggesting a criminal investigation is underway.
The company is at the center of several lawsuits.
Most recently, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control sued over reported 2020 violations of the state's hazardous waste laws.
LAUSD sued, among other things, to recover funds it has spent on cleanup.
Lab testing commissioned by the district found lead concentrations were 75 times higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency defines as a hazardous threshold.
"We're fighting for the future generations, so they don't have to live under the health and safety dangers of previous generations," said Eden Cristo, a member of the Healthy Families Coalition.
The coalition on Monday sent a letter to L.A. Mayor Karen Bass asking her to intervene through different city agencies.
"We are pleading with you to take action to stop this ongoing injustice," the letter said in part.
Atlas Iron & Metal Co. told Eyewitness News it's nearing its 75th year in business, adding:
"... Throughout this time Atlas has always been a family business that gives back to the community. As the world turns to ways of preserving resources & reducing emissions, Atlas' role in the recycling process is more important than ever. As a member of the local community, we have always encouraged open dialogue and communication..."
The company did not directly address the concerns the coalition has raised.