Chemical odor, kids' nosebleeds, few answers in South L.A. neighborhood

Monic Uriarte says she began having headaches and bouts of dizziness three years ago, about the time she and her neighbors began smelling a chemical odor on the streets and in their homes.

Then Uriarte's 9-year-old daughter and other children in the University Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles began suffering from recurring nosebleeds and respiratory ailments.

After a little sleuthing, Uriarte and others traced the smell to property shielded from the neighborhood by a 12-foot-high, ivy-covered wall. Behind it, on land leased from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Allenco Energy Inc. had ramped up production from an oil field by more than 400% — from 4,178 barrels in 2009 to 21,239 in 2010, according to the state Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources.

Read full text at LA Times