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Doors Close Firmly in L.A. County Quest for Toxic Waste Burial Site

September 08, 1985|JILL STEWART | Times Staff Writer

Antelope Valley Unsuited

"Most of the Antelope Valley is sand and gravel, making it unsuitable except for the volcanic formations near Hi Vista. We eliminated the Santa Clarita Valley for the same reason, and the southern half of the county was eliminated because of heavy population and the poor geology of the coastal plain.

"We had to knock out Angeles National Forest because we feel we can't get access and we would impinge on a recreational area. That leaves us with a handful of good spots."

According to EPA officials, the county's search for a disposal site is being closely watched by governments across the country who face problems nearly identical to Los Angeles.

"Every major urban center in the country is looking for a way to safely dispose of toxic wastes, and, if Los Angeles can figure out how to do it, the rest of the country is going to follow that lead," said David Morell, a senior policy analyst for the EPA in San Francisco.

However, federal and county officials have said that vehement community opposition could scuttle the project.

In an effort to head off such reaction, members of the hazardous waste subcommittee of the Solid Waste Management Plan are preparing to launch a massive public education program about the county's plans.

"What it gets down to is that some community, probably up there in the desert, is going to have to bite the bullet," said Darcy, Antonovich's aide. "We'd like to say we have other options, but frankly, we don't."

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