Federal investigators are looking into whether foul odors from an oil pumping plant are making the neighborhood's residents sick. Allenco Energy Company’s oil pumping facility is located in the neighborhood of University Park, centered in a residential community. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.
California Sen. Barbara Boxer made a passionate plea Friday for Allenco Energy Company to shut down its Los Angeles plant amid complaints from neighbors that odors coming from the site could be making them sick.
"I call on Allenco to suspend operations immediately," she demanded.
A look at public records with the South Coast Air Quality Management District shows the Allenco plant has been cited 16 times for pollution violations since 2010.
"I have heart problems, headaches, nosebleeds frequently and stomach problems," 12-year-old factory neighbor Nalleli Cobo said.
Cobo lives across the street from the facility on West 23rd street in University Park and is among more than 340 neighbors who’ve filed official complaints with state regulators.
The company has had to pay $300,000 in fines, but state regulators say there is no proof at this point that the odor is causing illness.
Inspectors from the US Environmental Protection Agency were on site Wednesday investigating the complaints.
"They told me they got sick," Boxer said. "They experienced severe respiratory symptoms from their brief exposure."
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles -- which owns the property and leases it to Allenco -- said it will look into the matter.
On-site Allenco officials declined to comment.
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