Statement from the Supervisor on Ujima Village

As many of you know, there is an ongoing environmental investigation taking place in Willowbrook related to oil contamination at the former Ujima Village and Magic Johnson Park.

After the old Athens Tank Farm was removed in the 1960s, contaminants were left in the soil. Soil sampling ordered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Board have all indicated that the present levels of chemicals in the soil are not dangerous to human health, but nonetheless I am concerned.

My primary focus right now is to see that the Water Board and ExxonMobile, which once owned the tank farm, come to an agreement to relocate the daycare center, Honey’s Little Angels Day Care, which is still on the grounds. Out of an abundance of caution, I believe it is better to just move the children. My office has found a new location in Willowbrook for the daycare center, and it is my hope that months of negotiations between the County, the Water Board and Exxon, will soon come to fruition.

However, this won’t be over once the children are moved. We must get to the bottom of this investigation and find out the facts.

I am committed to making sure that you stay informed about this process, and will be holding a community meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the newly opened Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Public Health. It is located on the corner of 119th St. and Wilmington Ave. in Willowbrook.

With me will be officials from the Water Board to give the community an update on the investigation. I will also have officials from the County Department of Public Health and Department of Parks and Recreation there.

Also, if individuals have health-related concerns, we want to know. I have asked the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to set up a hotline specifically for concerns related to Ujima Village. You may call 211 and your call will be routed appropriately.

Please feel free to visit my website for more information – htttp://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov. On the website you will also find a chronology and fact sheets related to the investigation.

I look forward to seeing you on November 30th.


Mark Ridley-Thomas