Play Fair Farmers Field Coalition Releases Health Report on Impact of Proposed LA Football Stadium

PSR-LA Executive Director Martha Dina Argüello at the Play Fair Farmers Field press conference July 12, 2012

The Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition held press conference on Thursday, July 12th to release a Health Impact Assessment report on the potential community health impacts of the proposed downtown Los Angeles Stadium and Convention Center modification project. Findings of the Health Impact Assessment will be presented by community members and partners on the corner of Francisco St. and Olympic Blvd. – a site across the street from LA LIVE that once held a residential apartment complex for dozens of low-to-moderate income residents.

From the outset, surrounding communities raised numerous concerns about the potential impacts on the proposed project. “I have lived in this community for years and I’ve seen just how much the Staples Center and LA LIVE have changed this neighborhood,” stated Lydia Aguilar, who lives within a few blocks of the site of the proposed project. “I’m concerned that the stadium will only lead to the loss of more housing due to the desire for more parking lots and even worse air quality due to increased traffic.”

Concerns such as these only grew when Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) announced the release of a 10,000-page Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The DEIR failed to sufficiently analyze the impacts of increased air pollution and traffic while altogether ignoring the project’s impact on housing and population in South Park, Pico-Union and South Los Angeles. The Health Impact Assessment, conducted by Human Impact Partners in conjunction with a panel of impacted residents, takes this into account and includes data and analysis necessary to help facilitate the identification and mitigation of the proposed project’s negative impacts.

To date, AEG has also not addressed its legal obligation to be the “best in the NFL” when it comes to the number of cars bringing people to the proposed stadium. “When we plan developments around just automobiles, we are casting bad health policy in permanent concrete. Angelenos deserve to see clear, specific plans for how AEG intends to significantly increase public transit ridership and decrease car trips,” stated Dr. Richard Jackson, Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA and Board Member of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles.

In early June, the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition entered into mediation with AEG to discuss local residents’ concerns and present proposed mitigation measures. However, thus far, AEG has not engaged in serious discussions around many of the mitigation measures, including neighborhood protection plans for South Park, Pico-Union, and South Los Angeles, which would address impacts described in the Health Impact Assessment.

An executive summary and the full report are now available for viewing at playfairfarmersfield.wordpress.com.

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Play Fair at Farmers Field includes Comunidad Presente, Los Angeles Community Action Network,Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA and numerous supporting organizations, as well as legal support from Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

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