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Fire Dept. Gets OK to Alter Fee System on Toxics

The Los Angeles Fire Department was authorized on Friday to revamp its system of collecting fees from the 13,000 businesses and government agencies in Los Angeles that handle hazardous and toxic chemicals.

In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles City Council empowered the Fire Department to change the fee system that affects 400 firms, ranging from metal plating plants to oil refineries that use “large quantities of acutely hazardous chemicals,” Fire Department Chief Dean Cathey said.

In the past, the city has charged companies separate fees to file a list of the hazardous chemicals they use and to develop an emergency response plan, Cathey said. Under the new system, the Fire Department will collect a flat fee ranging from $67 to $32,000 that will include the cost of having the department evaluate the safety of a company’s machinery and storage facilities, he said. “The new system will provide a higher level of policing businesses with deadly materials.” Cathey said.


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