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SEAL BEACH : Toxic Waste Tank Hearing Scheduled

The state Department of Health Services will conduct a public hearing Wednesday on the Navy’s request to continue operating two hazardous waste storage tanks at the Naval Weapons station in Seal Beach.

The health department and the federal Environmental Protection Agency will consider public comments before deciding whether to issue a permit. The permit was originally granted in 1983 for two tanks with a capacity of about 9,000 gallons each. A new permit would be for 10 years.

The tanks are currently used to store waste that includes used motor oil, paint thinner, battery acid and lacquer thinner, said Naval base spokesman Tom Thomas. Waste is stored for up to 120 days and is then sent off base for disposal, except for used motor oil, which is sold to recyclers.

Although Thomas said there have been no accidents or spills at the storage tanks, some residents, including Councilwoman Marilyn Bruce Hastings, oppose extending the permits.

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“I’m vitally concerned about it,” Hastings said. “My concern is that the Navy is not being a good neighbor.”

Hastings argued that having hazardous waste site near the residential community is inappropriate and added that she objects to the Navy’s practice of transferring waste from its facility in Fallbrook to Seal Beach.

Thomas said that the majority of the waste stored in Seal Beach is generated there and that material is transferred from Fallbrook because the site there is an annex to the Seal Beach base.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. in the Seal Beach City Council Chambers, 211 8th Street.

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