Controversy over a proposal by L.A. Terminals of Wilmington to store sodium hydrosulfide in tanks at the Port of Los Angeles became moot Wednesday when the company withdrew its request shortly before the Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners were to consider it.
L.A. Terminals officials could not be reached, but Bill Stein, director of port administration, said the company withdrew because fire officials had requested radical modifications to its facility and storage tanks. The tank that would have housed the chemical is 57 years old.
Sodium hydrosulfide, which is produced during the process of refining oil, is used by the mining industry to extract copper from ore. Wilmington homeowners had complained that storing the chemical would create a hazard in their community.
The Harbor Department staff had recommended approval of the storage plan despite the homeowners' objections and the department's own findings that storage of the chemical would create objectionable odors, involve the risk of an explosion or the release of hazardous substances, and expose people to potential health hazards. Stein said Wednesday that staff members "still stand by the recommendation."