South Bay

Los Angeles councilwoman Joan Milke Flores has introduced three motions that would tighten regulations governing the operation of hazardous-waste facilities.

Flores last week asked the City Council to request that the state Department of Health Services conduct public hearings before issuing temporary environmental permits, which are effective in many cases for three years or longer. She also asked that the state verify that proposed hazardous-waste facilities are complying with city zoning laws.

In December, city officials learned for the first time of the existence of at least three Wilmington hazardous-waste operations. Operations at two of the sites, owned by IT Corp., had been conducted since 1926. All three facilities were operating in improper zones and were subsequently served shutdown orders.

Flores also requested that the council change all permit applications--such as those for business licenses and industrial waste--to include information about the possible handling of hazardous wastes and materials. In addition, she asked for a report on the feasibility of assigning trained, full-time inspectors to monitor hazardous waste-related activities for compliance with the city's zoning and industrial regulations.

The motions were referred to council committees. The Planning and Environmental Committee is expected to consider the motions this week, and they are scheduled to come before the Public Works Committee next week.

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