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University Park Residents Say Oil Drilling Facility Is Making Them Sick

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — University Park residents are campaigning to have a nearby oil drilling facility shut down amid claims its operation is making them sick.

The Allenco Energy site, located in University Park off 23rd Street, neighbors a charter school, an LAUSD high school for disabled adults, Mount Saint Mary’s College and several residential properties.

KCAL9’s Suraya Fadel was at a Town Hall meeting Wednesday tonight, where residents were armed with concerns and graphic representations of what they say are debilitating symptoms they feel are linked to the strong odors emanating from the urban oil field, which produces about 80 barrels of oil a day.

Air quality officials say they still do not know if the air contaminants are potentially toxic.

Residents say that for years they have endured strong sulfur and gas-like odors and they want the facility to be shut down.

“This is the kind of devastating headache that I have,” one resident at the meeting said.

Others complained of nausea, dizziness, confusion and sleep disruption.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District says they cited the facility in 2011 for several violations.

Allenco was forced to upgrade its equipment and take up air ducts as a result.

The next Town Hall meeting is scheduled for December.

Air quality officials say they are conducting intense monitoring and are having scientific samples taken in effort to determine what is going on. They hope to have more answers next month.

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