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Panel Urges Radioactive Waste Tests at Landfills

April 17, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Citing a distrust of federal regulatory agencies, a Los Angeles City Council committee recommended Tuesday that its inspectors test landfills for levels of radioactive waste.

"We're going to see if the federal government is lying to us," Councilman Nate Holden said during a special meeting of the city's Environmental Quality and Waste Management Committee.

"We want to make sure Los Angeles citizens are safe," he said.

The move follows reports that Rocketdyne's Santa Susana field laboratory near Chatsworth disposed of low-level radioactive materials at Bradley Landfill in Sun Valley without the knowledge of state or local regulators or the landfill operators.

Federal and state agencies assured the committee that health risks, including cancer, that are associated with the low-level radioactive material are minimal.

The U.S. Department of Energy is cleaning up the Rocketdyne site.

The council committee also reiterated its support for legislation calling for stringent disposal of radioactive materials.

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