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Gascon files lawsuit against Atlas Metals


Continual environmental pollution at Jordan high

On June 21 at noon a press conference was held at Jordan High School regarding an incident involving S&W Atlas Iron and Metal Corp. and owners and the illegal disposal of waste on the Jordan High School campus. Jordan High School is located at 2265 E. 103rd St. in Los Angeles, in Watts.

This issue has been plaguing the South LA campus  for years. The dumping of hazardous, toxic chemicals is unacceptable, and unsafe for all persons involved or in the nearby areas.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon detailed 24 counts against the scrap metal yard, noting that its owners, Gary and Matthew Weisenberg, knowingly disposed of dangerous, harmful, and hazardous waste with no permit. Each man faces 21 felony counts of knowingly disposing of hazardous waste with no permit and one felony count of depositing hazardous waste.

"The charging of Atlas Metal for their environmental crimes is a step toward justice for the children of Jordan High School and the community of Watts,” Gascon said. “Children deserve a safe and healthy environment to learn and grow in, and we must hold companies accountable for their actions that put our children’s health at risk. This serves as a reminder that we must prioritize the well-being of our communities and take action against those who prioritize profits over people."

“The action taken today by the District Attorney supports our abiding concern about the dangerous environmental health and safety impacts to our schools that result from incompatible land uses,” said Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “Never has this been more important than in underserved communities who are often confronted by adverse industrial impacts that cause air, water and land pollution.

“Los Angeles Unified has been and will always maintain the firm resolve to support environmental policies that protects its students and staff from such health and safety risks. We urge the city, county, state and federal officials to aggressively and expeditiously join the District in pursuing a solution that eliminates such health and safety risks as well as the incompatible use of the Atlas property that has impacted Jordan High School and the Watts community.”

The complaint further alleges the scrap yard is in violation of state environmental laws by not eliminating hazardous waste.