- Second District
At the urging of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today voted to relocate Honey’s Little Angels day care center, which sits on the site of a state-led toxic substances investigation in Willowbrook. Beginning this summer, the center will be housed in a brand new County-leased building in Athens. Moving the center from its present location — the site of the former Athens Tank Farm, where there is residual oil contamination — has been a priority for the Supervisor.
For the past year, negotiations have been taking place between ExxonMobil, which bears substantial responsibility for the resulting pollution, the day care operator and the County. The County, however, ultimately took the lead in identifying a location and will facilitate the day care center’s move. The facility’s residence at 8300 South Vermont Avenue in Athens is expected to be temporary, and all three parties are still working on identifying a permanent site.
”I have consistently maintained that it is best to act out of an abundance of caution and move these young children as soon as possible,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. . “Fortunately, environmental assessments indicate there is no present risk to the children’s health, but the families with children at the day care center deserve complete peace of mind.”
Acting on a motion sponsored by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, the board also took a number of other steps with regard to the investigation at the site and to address concerns voiced by neighbors in the community. In addition to moving Honey’s Little Angels, the Supervisors also voted to:
As a whole, the steps are part of comprehensive program undertaken by the Supervisor to promote the prompt and thorough remediation of the contaminated site and safeguard the health of area residents.
At his urging, in May the Water Board convened a community meeting to update residents on its investigation. In response to related concerns about health care access, the Supervisor also arranged for the Department of Health Services to enroll eligible residents in low-cost health insurance programs. “ExxonMobil and the State of California should be exhausting every available resource to provide comprehensive and timely justice for the Willowbrook community,” Ridley-Thomas said. This site has been under investigation for over six years. The residents deserve answers and a resolution to this issue.”