Developers may be eyeing University Park around USC for potential gentrification, but they aren't going to get far with the neighborhood's possibly toxic, oil-well-fresh air. According to the LA Times, residents have been complaining about chemical odors (and frequent nosebleeds, headaches, and dizziness) since Allenco Energy ramped up their oil drilling operation in University Park, on land given to the Catholic Archdiocese by descendants of its previous owner, old LA oilman Edward Doheny. Those oil wells had been taken out of operation in the 1990s, but several were opened back up in 2005 and production really increased in 2009--the same year that complaints about the smell and other health effects spiked. Which is weird, since everyone says that smell, while stinky, is completely harmless and there's definitely no history of industry poisoning its low-income neighbors in the area (Psych! There is!). The South Coast Air Quality Management District says the problem is merely "incompatible zoning decisions," though they're also getting ready for a new round of air quality tests in the area and a meeting with concerned neighbors.
· Chemical odor, kids' nosebleeds, few answers in South L.A. neighborhood [LAT]