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Waste Cleanup at Sun Valley Facility Begins

October 09, 1986

Crews wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatus began removing 3,200 containers of hazardous materials this week from a Sun Valley plant cited for improperly storing toxic, radioactive and explosive chemicals.

The removal of chemicals at the California Bionuclear Corp., 7654 San Fernando Road, was being conducted with no apparent problems, said Mike Qualls, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

The Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the removal with the help of several Los Angeles city and county agencies. The cleanup is expected to take about three weeks.

During a raid in January, members of a city-county Environmental Protection Task Force found radiation leakage 100 times the permissible levels around the company premises.

At the time, Los Angeles City Atty. James K. Hahn compared the plant to "a bomb waiting to go off."

A spark could have touched off an explosion capable of leveling the entire block and spreading radiation over several more," he said.

The owner of the company, Riad M. Ahmed, 46, of Culver City was arrested in July and charged with 52 violations of the city fire code, 35 violations of state radiation control regulations and three violations of the city building and safety codes. Arraignment is set for Oct. 23 in Los Angeles Municipal Court.

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