Underground Tanks to Be Monitored by County

Times Staff Writer

The Glendale City Council agreed Tuesday to relinquish to Los Angeles County local control over testing and monitoring of underground hazardous material storage tanks.

The council voted 3 to 0 to rescind a 1983 ordinance that had made the city responsible for overseeing the installation of sophisticated leakage detection systems for the approximately 860 underground tanks in the city.

Council members had voiced reluctance last week to turn the monitoring duties over to the county. But Glendale Fire Chief John Montenero said this week that the county was better equipped to supervise the highly technical and expensive procedure.

Local enforcement of the state provisions would have required the city to hire additional personnel trained in soils and chemical engineering, and administer testing and cleanup operations, Montenero said.


Fees Not Sufficient

Permit fees collected from firms for the program would not cover the estimated $200,000 annual cost of hiring inspectors and experts on toxic substances, he said.

“We found that leakage from underground tanks is a countywide concern because substantial leaks can flow underground into flood channels, riverbeds and affect water supplies,” Montenero said. “Like air pollution, inspection is a county issue.”

The Glendale Fire Department will retain jurisdiction over the inspection and permit process for the installation of new tanks to ensure compliance with fire code regulations.


Voting for the measure were council members John Day, Ginger Bremberg and Larry Zarian. Mayor Jerold Milner and Councilman Carl Raggio were absent from the meeting.