Los Angeles has the worst air in the country, with more of its residents hospitalized because of asthma than residents from any other county in California. With 72 days of unhealthy ozone levels, Los Angeles is the nation's ozone capital.
Gridlock on our local freeways makes the residents of the 32nd District particularly susceptible to the Southland's unhealthy air. But that is not the only environmental hazard our residents face. The 32nd District is home to three Superfund sites due to contamination of groundwater from rocket fuel, a legacy from the days when the San Gabriel Valley was a major aerospace industrial center. As a result of this legacy, 136 water wells in the area have had to be shut down, severely impacting the use of the San Gabriel Basin's aquifer, the source of about 90 percent of area residents' drinking water and a natural emergency reservoir for the water-starved Southland.
As a Congressmember, Dr. Chu will continue to fight to protect our environment by supporting the clean-up efforts of our local water and air resources and to ensure that the federal government provides its fair share of dollars to remove jet fuel and other contaminants from our local wells.
Dr. Chu already has a long history of championing environmental causes. As an Assembly Member, she authored legislation to help low-income and minority communities combat the effects of pollution by creating the Environmental Justice Small Grant Program, through which the California Environmental Protection Agency provided grants for local nonprofit organizations. She also co-authored the Global Warming Bill that required the Air Resources Board (ARB) to adopt regulations to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by motor vehicles. And she authored a state resolution to support Congresswoman Solis' proposal to study the feasibility of bringing the Lower Los Angeles River, the San Gabriel River, the San Gabriel Mountains, and other areas under the jurisdiction of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy as a unit of the National Park System, a plan she will continue to promote in Congress.
Finally, Dr. Chu will work hard to free our nation from its dependence on foreign oil by supporting the creation of "Green Collar Jobs" that will help battle global warming and put our men and women in secure, well paying jobs that will not be out-sourced. These "green collar jobs" will focus on renewable energy production, solar power panels, and retrofitting of our nation's infrastructure in order to decrease the environmental damage to our communities.