On June 21, 2023, a press conference was held at Jordan High School in Watts. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced a felony charge against Atlas Metal & Iron Company, the metal recycling plant that has operated next to Jordan for the past 75 years. Jordan students and community members have been demanding that the owners of Atlas be held accountable for allowing dangerous metal projectiles, fine metallic dust and other objects to be launched or emitted from the property onto the school grounds. And finally, something is being done.
In response to the charges, we released the following statement to the media:
We applaud the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for taking action to remedy this long-standing health and safety hazard for the students at Jordan High School and the greater Watts community. The students at Jordan High School have had to endure these conditions for far too long. We cannot ignore the fact that low-income communities–particularly those with mostly Black and Brown families–are more likely to be located near industrial facilities and bear the brunt of the negative impacts of environmental injustices. We stand in solidarity with the students of Jordan and the residents of Watts to demand immediate action to offset the harm that has been done for the past 75 years.