L.A. city officials want testing required near lab

first_imgFollowing Ventura County’s lead, Los Angeles City officials want to require developers to test soil and groundwater for contamination before building within a two-mile radius of the Santa Susana Field Lab. The proposal by Councilman Greig Smith would establish the testing requirement and ensure the departments of planning and building and safety require sampling before developers get permission to build. “I just think this is the right thing to do to make sure we don’t make any mistakes and allow someone to build something that could put people at risk,” Smith said. The City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee approved the concept Wednesday and directed city departments to begin developing the regulations. “This is a prudent, conservative step that Los Angeles City can take to make sure additional contamination is not found in future neighborhoods,” she said. Even though the lab is outside city limits, officials said they were concerned after reports of contamination. “Unfortunately, pollution knows no boundaries,” Councilman Eric Garcetti said. The Ventura County Board of Supervisors recently adopted similar restrictions on future development for property within its boundaries. The Los Angeles city task force is expected to report back on proposed regulations in 45 days. [email protected] 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Located above West Hills and Chatsworth, the field lab was a longtime nuclear research and rocket-engine test facility. Nuclear work ended in the late 1980s, and rocket-engine tests ended in 2005. The work left radioactive and toxic contamination in the soil and groundwater on site, and some pollution has moved off site in creeks. In 2005, a developer about to build luxury homes downhill from the lab found high levels of perchlorate, a rocket-engine fuel ingredient, in the soil. Centex Homes is now cleaning the site. Despite community concern, state regulators have said they cannot prove the contamination comes from the lab. Elizabeth Crawford with Physicians for Social Responsibility and Rocketdynewatch.org said the testing requirement in Los Angeles would help prevent any other last-minute discoveries of contamination. last_img read more

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Missing soldier from Torrance found dead in Iraq

first_imgTORRANCE, Calif. (AP) – The body of a U.S. soldier found in the Euphrates River in Iraq was identified Wednesday as a Torrance man who was abducted with two comrades a week and a half ago, according to his aunt. Military officials visited the home of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. and told his family that a commanding officer identified the body. “They told us we’re sorry to inform you the body we found has been identified as Joe,” said Debbie Anzack, choking back tears. “I’m in disbelief.” Anzack, 20, was one of three soldiers who vanished after their combat team was ambushed May 12 about 20 miles outside of Baghdad. Five others, including an Iraqi, were killed in the ambush, subsequently claimed by al-Qaida. Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi forces searched desert, lush farmland and even sewage-tainted irrigation ditches for more than a week in temperatures that reached 110-degrees. Another body was found near Anzack’s, his aunt said after the briefing from military officials. Anzack’s family had held out hope for the past 11 days. They had already endured an earlier rumor that he was dead – only to learn he was alive. About a month ago, messages on the MySpace Web site said the Army gunner had died. South High School, where he had been a high school football star, posted a message on the school’s marquee reading: “In Loving Memory Joseph Anzack Class of 2005.” His father, Joseph Anzack, called the Red Cross about the rumors, and military commanders were able to get his son to a phone where he confirmed he was alive and well. Anzack was a private first class in Company D, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade combat team. In Torrance, a modest suburb of about 150,000 residents 20 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, neighbors and friends stood by Wednesday waiting for word of Anzack’s fate. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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