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Hazardous Materials

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 1989
The operator of a Newhall power plant was fined $10,000 Tuesday for failing to notify authorities last September after several hundred pounds of corrosive lime accidentally spilled from a silo and onto private property near three houses. The company, AES Placerita, pleaded no contest in Newhall Municipal Court to one misdemeanor count of failing to report a hazardous materials spill. The company could have been fined up to $25,000, Deputy Dist. Atty. William Carter said. AES is apparently the first company to be convicted under a 1986 state law that requires industries to report spills of hazardous materials to authorities, Carter said.
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February 9, 2014 | David Zucchino
Pete Harrison dipped his kayak paddle into a gray stain on the bank of the murky Dan River. He pulled out a sticky gob 4 inches thick. "That's pure coal ash," he said. Harrison, a lawyer with the Riverkeeper Alliance, was kayaking the river Thursday to take water samples, four days after a massive plume of coal ash laced with toxic chemicals spilled into the river from a storage basin at a retired coal-fired power plant operated by Duke Energy. Environmentalists and the nation's largest electric utility seem to describe two different rivers in the wake of the third-largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 1987 | ANDREW C. REVKIN, Times Staff Writer
Four fire engines pulled into the parking lot behind a Van Nuys beauty parlor. It was the first call of the day for the A-Shift of the hazardous-materials task force based at Los Angeles Fire Department Station 39. The beauty parlor's owner had reported that a green liquid reeking of "the smell you get when you peel the back off a Polaroid print" was percolating through the linoleum floor at the rear of the shop.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. admitted to improperly handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its stores nationwide, pleading guilty Tuesday to several federal criminal and civil counts and agreeing to pay more than $81 million. The accusations against the retail behemoth spanned three criminal cases from the Justice Department and a related civil case brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Wal-Mart said its failings -- not training workers to properly deal with and discard hazardous waste, including pesticides, detergents, paints and aerosols, some of which ended up in municipal trash bins or in local sewers -- were remedied years ago. Prosecutors also said waste taken back to stores by customers was delivered by the company to product return centers without required safety documentation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 1987
In his anti-fireworks diatribe "Fireworks: Hazardous Materials" (June 21), Ron Coleman advances the same old burned-out arguments. He thinks there is something wrong with our system. I think there is something wrong with Coleman's brain. As a fire chief he seems rather ignorant about the facts. The apartment house he refers to that burned down last year was caused by the use of illegal fireworks. Why isn't this stated? The label "safe and sane" is an official designation given to certain fireworks that can legally be sold in California.
NEWS
April 23, 1987
The Fire Department has begun enforcing a state-mandated program that requires businesses to disclose the type and amount of hazardous materials they store and to devise plans to control spills or leaks. Fire Marshal Russell G. Melanson estimated that 800 businesses will be affected. Melanson said businesses that store hazardous materials will be charged from $25 to $500 each to pay for the Fire Department's cost of administering the program. A chemist, Gary B.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 1996 | DARRELL SATZMAN
A business that sells and services dishwashing machines has been charged with four misdemeanor counts stemming from allegations that it illegally transported hazardous materials, the city attorney said. Lo-Car Enterprises Inc.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 1994 | TINA DAUNT
Ventura County supervisors Tuesday agreed to move forward with plans to streamline the county's hazardous waste and materials inspections. Currently, the county's Resource Management Agency and Fire Department both search for code violations at businesses that deal with hazardous materials. But under a plan unanimously adopted by supervisors, the Resource Management Agency would be responsible for the inspections, ending the Fire Department's duplicate efforts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 1987 | RON COLEMAN, Ron Coleman is fire chief in Fullerton and sits on the International Assn . of Fire Chiefs' Hazardous Materials Committee
There is something wrong with our system. How can society selectively condemn and condone unsafe practices simultaneously? Let me be specific: Currently, two of the biggest concerns in local government are "hazardous materials" and "liability." The state Legislature is coming up with numerous rules and regulations to restrict and limit hazardous materials and fix liabilities for their improper handling. The rationale given for this legislation is that "hazardous materials are dangerous."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2006 | Steve Hymon and Amanda Covarrubias, Times Staff Writers
The ski patrol had been at work since first light, inspecting Mammoth Mountain's reopened runs after a week of heavy snow and blustery winds. By midmorning Thursday, seven of them had set to work digging out a nearly buried fence erected to keep skiers away from one of the mountain's dangerous volcanic vents. Suddenly, the snow beneath them gave way. Two of the ski patrollers dropped into a 21-foot maw filled with deadly carbon dioxide fumes and landed on the ground, trapped in a deep hollow.
SCIENCE
February 13, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Weiss
Less than half of the 280 million metric tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the landfill.  A fair bit of the rest ends up littering the landscape, blown by the wind or washed down streams and rivers into the sea. So far Americans spend $520 million a year to clean up plastic litter washing up on West Coast beaches and shorelines. Efforts to clean up the oceans' enormous swirling gyres of garbage has an incalculable cost. Thus, much of the focus has been on how to stop the river of trash from entering the ocean.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2013 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Cops and prosecutors are returning to the scene of the grime. But things will be brighter when the former occupants of the Hall of Justice move their offices back into the downtown Los Angeles landmark. Work crews making seismic repairs to the building next month will begin blasting away 88 years' worth of soot, dirt and smog that have turned its exterior a dull, dirty gray color. When they finish this fall, project managers say the 14-story beaux-arts building will glisten as brightly as the slightly newer Los Angeles City Hall, which is diagonally across the street.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2012 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
The explosions came one after another, jolting a South Los Angeles neighborhood. "It felt like an earthquake, and then it was just raining fire," recalled Richard Gomez, who watched a metal recycling facility on Slauson Avenue erupt in flames one day in June 2010. A worker at the United Alloys plant was critically injured in the blaze, which started in a machine that ground titanium into highly flammable flakes. Gomez, who worked at a catering business nearby, said two of his co-workers suffered minor burns when their clothes caught fire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2012 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
State regulators found inadequate environmental safeguards at a Coachella Valley soil recycling company blamed for noxious odors that sickened children at a nearby school but said the mountains of contaminated soil do not pose a serious health threat. Western Environmental Inc., which operates a waste facility on the reservation of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians near Mecca, did not meet California hazardous waste standards "in a number of significant areas," according to a state Department of Toxic Substances Control report released last week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A toxic waste dump near a San Joaquin Valley community plagued by birth defects has agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on laboratory upgrades needed to properly manage hazardous materials at the facility, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday. The penalties were part of a consent decree that capped an 18-month investigation by the EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control into the Chemical Waste Management landfill about 3 1/2 miles southwest of Kettleman City, a community of 1,500 mostly low-income Latino farmworkers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 2011 | By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times
More than 250 homes in the Antelope Valley were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a large Union Pacific freight train derailed. No injuries were reported. Union Pacific officials said the 68-car train was heading south to Colton when it derailed near Littlerock, southeast of Palmdale, about 1:25 p.m. At least 21 cars derailed. Officials remained on the scene investigating the cause of the accident late Wednesday. Los Angeles County fire officials said 14 of the derailed cars were tankers that often carry hazardous materials or liquid.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2011 | By Ashlie Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
A Van Nuys metal-plating business has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to settle charges that it mishandled hazardous waste. Inspectors from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Los Angeles County Fire Department found that Crown Chrome Plating, a division of TMW Corp., a supplier of transportation services, had multiple hazardous wastes on site without a permit in April 2009, a violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. There...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2011 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Target Corp. has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a multiyear government investigation into the alleged dumping of hazardous waste by the retail chain, according to court documents filed this week. The settlement, pending final approval by a judge, is part of a bigger push by prosecutors throughout the state to crack down on environmental violations by big-box retailers and follows multimillion-dollar settlements in recent years with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot. Under the tentative agreement, the Minneapolis-based retail giant admits no wrongdoing but will pay about $3.4 million to the California attorney general's office.
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