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San Gabriel Valley Digest

The Region : Cities' Toxins Liability

February 07, 1993

Legislation has been introduced in Sacramento and Washington to limit the liability of local governments involved in dumping household trash at landfills that have become the sites of controversial hazardous waste cleanup projects.

State Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) and Rep. David Dreier (R-La Verne) are sponsoring similar bills in response to San Gabriel Valley officials' pleas that their cities are victims of "toxic blackmail" by corporations involved in pollution cleanups.

More than 60 firms, which dumped pollutants at a Monterey Park landfill and agreed to help federal environmental officials clean up the site once the government shut it down, have sued dozens of cities that also dumped trash there.

The companies argue that the cities should help pay for the estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

But the legislators say private firms are unfairly forcing city taxpayers to indirectly pay for the cleanup costs that the polluting companies should bear.

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