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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Waste Facility to Close After Appeal Is Denied

May 22, 1999

SOUTH-CENTRAL — A state environmental agency has rejected an appeal for a permit to allow a hazardous-waste storage business to continue operating in the Athens district.

The firm, which has operated with a temporary permit for eight years, announced it will close July 1.

In October 1998, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control rejected a request by Statewide Environmental Services for a permanent permit, citing a history of environmental violations. The firm appealed that decision but was rejected earlier this week.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and a neighborhood group, the Community Coalition for Change, has been trying to close the facility at 12618 S. Main St. for years, complaining that it has had several accidents, spills and permit violations.

"You can't imagine what a long struggle this has been and the fear and anxiety this facility has caused residents," said Rahman Shabazz, president of the community coalition. "But we fought the Goliath and won."

Matthew Stewart, owner of the hazardous-waste facility, said in a statement that his company voluntarily agreed to close the business. He added that the firm is closing under an agreement with the state that "releases Statewide from any liability for its past operations."

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