As reported on desmogblog.com, residents of Arvin, California have launched the “Bucket Brigade”, a group of trained community members collecting samples of noxious fumes emanating from one of multiple polluters in the area. One such investigation started when a pregnant resident fainted, and led to the discovery of a leaking pipeline owned by Petro Capital Resources. This discovery has forced residents to evacuate their homes on Nelson Court and relocate to an apartment complex 20 minutes away. When some residents refused, the fire chief made the evacuation mandatory, telling residents that their houses were “liable to ignite at any moment from gas build-up.” 6 months later, the houses still sit empty, cordoned off by yellow caution tape. Francisco Gonzales, one of those who refused to leave, says he experienced daily nosebleeds because of the fumes.
The city has been described as “overburdened”, hosting sewage and garbage from Los Angeles, wastewater from Lamont, located downwind from San Francisco and Sacramento, and surrounded by oilfields, feedlots and mega-farms. “On a good day you smell feces and burning plastic,” says local organizer Gustavo Aguirre Jr.