The City Council decided on Tuesday to develop its own state-mandated plan to keep tabs on hazardous substances stored by city businesses, rather than participate in a program coordinated by Los Angeles County.
The Torrance Fire Department will coordinate the city's program, which will require inventories of hazardous substances and emergency response plans from businesses that handle such materials.
The businesses must identify the types, amounts and locations of as many as 500 different materials. Companies must also submit emergency plans detailing procedures, personnel and materials available.
The city Building and Safety Department recommended that the city establish its own program because it feared that the county program would be more expensive and less responsive to the needs of the city.
A department spokesman said about half the 7,800 businesses licensed in the city may be required to submit plans.
The city must submit its program to the state Office of Emergency Services by Sept. 1.