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New Map by UCLA Shows Factory Toxins in L.A. County

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Cal EcoMaps showing factories and population densities.
Cal EcoMaps showing factories and population densities. | Screenshot: Cal EcoMaps"

UCLA has launched a new interactive map tracking the impact of toxins from local factories on the environment in Los Angeles County. Developed by seven students, it details more than eight million pounds of toxic chemicals released into the environment during 2012.

The group looked at the petroleum, chemicals, primary metals, and fabricated metals industries, which make up 89 percent of toxins in the county. With data from 172 facilities that are required to report toxin releases to the government, students developed an environmental impact rating system. For example, Exide Technologies, which has been under scrutiny for pollution from its battery recycling operation in Vernon, scored a 78, one of the highest. Two other businesses, Pacific Alloy Castings in South Gate and Quemetco in the city of Industry, received higher scores.

UCLA was tapped by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of an academic challenge for the project and will continue its work over the next school year. The agency tracks nearly 650 toxic chemicals from more than 20,000 U.S. facilities and hopes projects like UCLA's will increase the public's awareness of toxic releases.

"If the public doesn't care, then the facilities won't care," said student Ha Hyun Chung. "And how would they care without access to this information in the first place?"

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at San Francisco General Hospital  on June 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

California Leaders File Appeal To Preserve State's Assault Weapons Ban

U.S. District Judge Robert Benitez of San Diego issued a ruling that overturned the decades-old ban last week, comparing the assault weapons to Swiss Army knives.
Carlos Hernandez holds his face mask while getting a haircut during the pandemic.

La gran reapertura de California: ¿Qué cambia, y qué no, el 15 de junio?

El gobernador Gavin Newsom prometió un regreso a los negocios, pero podría haber excepciones para que la vida cotidiana vuelva a la normalidad. Aquí hay preguntas y respuestas para aclarar la confusión.
Carlos Hernandez holds his face mask while getting a haircut during the pandemic.

California's Big Reopening: What Changes — and What Doesn't — on June 15?

Gov. Gavin Newsom promised business as usual, but there could be exceptions to everyday life returning to normal. Here are questions and answers to clear up confusion.