ZIP codes in Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield., East Los Angeles, Vernon and Baldwin Park made a Top 10 list in a new California EPA report. But it’s not something to brag about. The report titled “CalEnviroScreen” ranks cities by their pollution factors.
ZIP codes in Oxnard and Port Hueneme fared the worst in Ventura County. But Ventura County Air Pollution Control District Officer Michael Villegas said air quality is not to blame. Villegas said ocean breezes make the air quality good in both cities, while ground water, pesticides, power plants and a Superfund cleanup site are cause for concern.
Population and wealth are also factored into the score.
Critics don’t think the report is worthwhile, but it could be used to help communities fight to for funding to spend on pollution problems.
Vellegas said his district worked hard to close the old Halaco metal recycling plant on the beach in Oxnard years ago, but the Superfund site designation has not led to a cleanup.
Supervisor John Zaragoza was not surprised by the study. He said his community is dealing with more than its fair share of pollution.
Some of it comes from shipping lanes offshore.
The air pollution control district has 49 employees and a 3-inch-thick book of rules and regulations that cover everything from gas stations to laundromats.