Hazardous Materials

In Monterey Park, commercial and industrial businesses that use hazardous materials [3] include dry cleaners, film processors, auto service providers, landscape contractors, and computer component manufacturers, among others. Residences also generate household hazardous wastes in the form of paints, thinners, pesticides, fertilizers, etc.

Hazardous Waste Regulations
Hazardous waste generators and users in the city are required to comply with regulations enforced by several federal, state, and county agencies. The regulations aim toward reducing risk associated with human exposure to hazardous materials and minimizing adverse environmental effects. The city's Fire Department coordinates with the Health Hazardous Materials Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department to ensure appropriate reporting and compliance.

Emergency Management System Preparation
Despite all efforts to guard against health risks associated with hazardous materials, such materials can be released accidentally into the environment as a result of a natural disaster or improper storage and handling. The city's Standardized Emergency Management System, or SEMS, prepares city staff to react quickly and specifically to any hazardous materials accident, with the Fire Department leading the response team. The SEMS includes provisions for the Fire Department to maintain records of all hazardous materials stored and used at businesses in the community, thus ensuring appropriate response to any individual incident.

To address household hazardous wastes, the city cooperates with Los Angeles county to sponsor programs that heighten community awareness of household hazardous wastes and the importance of proper storage and disposal.

Goal Eight
Protect residents and business employees from potential hazards associated with the use, storage, manufacture, and transportation of hazardous materials in and through the city.
  • Policy 8.1 - Continue participation in the Standardized Emergency Management System.
  • Policy 8.2 - Partner with Los Angeles County to sponsor household hazardous waste disposal programs for residents to bring pesticides, cleaning fluids, paint cans, and other common household toxic chemicals to a centralized location for proper disposal.
  • Policy 8.3 - Educate the community regarding the proper storage, handling, use, and disposal of hazardous household materials.
  • Policy 8.4 - Incorporate into the development review and business license issuance processes a means for ascertaining the materials and production methods used by a business and the potential risks posed to adjacent and nearby residential neighborhoods, schools, and other sensitive land uses.
Footnote
The California Health and Safety Code defines a hazardous material as any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment.