May 26, 2010
Eight awarded scholarships for environmental awareness
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office will present more than $5,000 in scholarships tomorrow to students from five southeast Los Angeles high schools at the 18th Annual Environmental Scholarship Awards Ceremony.
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 27, at El Rancho High School, 6501 South Passons Boulevard, in Pico Rivera. A tree-planting ceremony will immediately follow.
"This scholarship program encourages students to care for the environment and their communities," said District Attorney Steve Cooley. "For 18 years, the District Attorney's Office has been proud to work with these high schools and support these students."
Scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors from El Rancho, Montebello, Bell Gardens, Schurr and Pioneer high schools who have demonstrated a serious interest in the environment. Since 1991, the District Attorney's Office has presented $195,800 in scholarships to 325 students under the environmental scholarship program.
In 1988, Grow Group – a manufacturer of chemical products for swimming pools in southeast Los Angeles – experienced an explosion of chlorine barrels that created a toxic cloud 1,000 feet high and a mile long. Twelve people were injured and 30,000 people were evacuated.
The disaster prompted a criminal case that set forth a new standard of corporate accountability. In 1990, Grow Group pleaded no contest to one felony count of illegal disposal of hazardous waste and three misdemeanor counts of unlawful storage of hazardous waste.
The company paid a fine of nearly $270,000 to be used for college scholarships for students from schools in the area affected by the Grow Group explosion.
Media Relations Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office