Protests against plans to expand waste site
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Environmentalists are back in Kettleman City Saturday, protesting plans to expand the largest hazardous waste site on the west coast.
Kettleman City is located in southern Kings County, just a few miles from the waste management dump site.
State and federal health officials say right now there are no links between this hazardous waste site and the births defects.
However, Saturday's rally organizers say those are lies and the children continue to suffer.
Songs of protest filled the Kettleman City Park Saturday afternoon.
Around 100 people showed up to condemn the expansion of waste management's site nearby claiming it's responsible for 10 babies born with genetic flaws since 2007.
Maura Alatorre says her 2-year-old son Emmanuel was born with a cleft pallet and a underdeveloped brain.
She's here to share her story with others to march.
Currently the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating claims that waste, arsenic water and vehicle emissions from nearby interstate-five play some role in these birth defects and other health issues.
'I would say there is a cover up. this isn't a question of a half-truth," Bradley Angel said.
'We will all keep fighting for change. it just puts exposure on the industry," Stacie Gaskins said.
No representatives from waste management showed up Saturday but told action news on the phone they did not have an official comment on the protest.
"We don't want an expansion to what is already a very large toxic dump to add to our burden," Maricela Maris-Alatorre said.
Thursday state and federal health officials said there was no evidence to suggest the landfill or other environmental issues played a role in 6 of the birth defects.
The final results of the EPA's report should be available by December.
County supervisors have already approved the toxic site expansion now it only needs state and federal approval to start construction.
kettleman city, toxic waste, protest, environmental protection agency, local, john-thomas kobos
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