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Local News in Brief : Simplified Rules on Toxic Waste Sought

A confusing array of regulations and forms make it difficult for owners of small businesses to comply with state laws governing the disposal of hazardous waste, a state Senate panel was told in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Ralph Lopez, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and Larry Hatler, who represents about 4,100 independent printing firms in the state, agreed that something has to be done to simplify the rules and assist businessmen attempting to comply with them.

“There is a somewhat bewildering application (process) for those seeking variances and other administrative remedies,” Lopez told the Senate Committee on Toxics and Public Safety Management, which met at the Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park. “We think it is lengthy and confusing.”

Hatler told the panel, chaired by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles), that “good, solid information” is needed about the laws governing the disposal of waste. “I don’t want to put my employees at risk,” Hatler said. “And I don’t want to place my business at risk.”

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Lou Moret, chief operating officer of the Southern California Area Governments organization, which represents eight counties from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, said the region generates almost 100 million pounds of hazardous liquid waste a year, or about 134 pounds for every man, woman and child living in the area.


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