Company's Waste Permit Revoked

Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Board of Public Works on Monday revoked the industrial waste permit of a North Hollywood business accused of pouring high concentrations of industrial waste into the sewer system.

The board also ordered the city's Bureau of Sanitation to cap the sewer lines that lead to AAA Metal Polishing in the 11400 block of Vanowen Street, board spokeswoman Anna Sklar said Monday. The work was to have been done this morning.

AAA Metal Polishing is the fourth Valley business to forfeit its industrial waste permit since 1984, Sklar said.

Henri Kemp, the firm's owner, said he will be forced to lay off four or five of his six employees today but will attempt to stay open and reapply for a permit.

Kemp did not dispute the violations, but said he could have installed adequate treatment equipment within two weeks if the city had given him the chance.

"I have not under any circumstances at any time knowingly put the wrong thing down the sewer," Kemp said.

His business used an average of 650 gallons of water a day in the plating of antique auto parts and other metal pieces with nickel, copper, brass and chrome, he said.

The board will refer the case to the city attorney for possible criminal action and also will bill the company to recover the city's investigative costs, Sklar said. Costs in previous cases have averaged between $16,000 and $18,000, she added.

The board took the revocation action against the firm in response to five separate violations of the city Municipal Code, which limits the concentrations of free cyanide and heavy metals such as copper, chrome and nickel that can be discharged into the sewers, Sklar said.

The violations occurred April 9, Aug. 28 and Sept. 17 last year and Jan. 8 and Jan. 27 this year, Sklar said.

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