The Environmental Protection Agency is visiting one of the largest petroleum-producing sections of the country for hearings on a proposal that would clamp down on pollution generated by oil refineries.
The hearing is set for Wednesday in Wilmington, a modest, blue-collar section of Los Angeles dotted by thousands of oil wells and home to three of California's major oil refineries.
Under consideration is a rule that would order the adoption of new technology to better monitor and control emissions.
The EPA plans a second hearing later in Houston.
EPA officials say the proposed restrictions would reduce toxic air emissions by an estimated 5,600 tons a year.
Environmentalists say the reduction is needed to safeguard public health. Industry officials contend the proposed rules are unnecessary.