City orders tougher rules for oil drilling site near South L.A. homes

City officials issued a set of stringent rules Friday that an oil company must follow if it wants to continue operating a drilling site next to homes in South Los Angeles.

Included is a requirement that all drilling equipment be permanently enclosed in a 45-foot-tall structure to dampen noise, reduce odors and block bright lights. That was a key demand from community activists, who had argued that the site at Jefferson Boulevard and Budlong Avenue was an example of the noxious effects of oil drilling in urban neighborhoods.

The facility, which is overlooked by apartments west of the USC campus, faces what officials described as the toughest rules imposed on any drilling site in L.A. The action was quickly lauded by environmental and neighborhood activists as a pivotal step.

“The city has finally listened to the concerns of the community,” said Richard Parks, president of the South L.A. nonprofit Redeemer Community Partnership.

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