TORRANCE — A public hearing will be held Jan. 14 to determine if the city should develop its own state-mandated program to keep tabs on hazardous substances stored in the city and to prepare a plan for responding to emergencies involving such substances. The alternative is to join a program coordinated by Los Angeles County.
The matter will be discussed at 3 p.m. today at the Torrance police station by the city Disaster Council, a city staff and citizen board which coordinates city emergency preparedness. Recommendations from the council will be presented at the public hearing next month.
The inventory and the response plan are required under a state law written by Assemblywoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) that will take effect Jan. 1. It requires local governments to obtain inventories of hazardous substances and emergency response plans from businesses that handle such materials. The businesses must identify the types, amounts and locations of hazardous material typically kept on their sites. Companies must also submit to the city emergency response plans detailing procedures, personnel and materials available.
Cities may operate their own programs or be part of a county-run plan. Programs must be submitted to the state Office of Emergency Services by Sept. 1.