Stopping Toxic Smoke from Valley Wrecking and Junk Yards

26486526406_03772d7986_b.jpgThe Sixth District is home to many auto wrecking yards and waste transfer stations.  All too often, these waste sites end up catching fire, and when they do, the fires are massive.  In April, when a Sun Valley wrecking yard caught fire, you could see the dark smoke from miles away, and residents throughout the area, had to close their windows and stay inside to keep from breathing those awful toxic fumes caused by the fire.  Our communities already deal with the noise, smells, and other impacts of living near these places, we shouldn’t have to worry about the toxins our children will breathe every time one of these places catches on fire.  Therefore, immediately after that last Sun Valley fire, I introduced a motion at the City Council calling on the LA Fire Department and other city agencies to look into what is causing these fires, and what can be done to contain the smoke when these fires do break out.  I’m working to find out if people are cutting corners or ignoring building and safety codes, and if that increases the likelihood of fires.  We need to make sure these places are following the toughest safety standards.  Regardless, even when accidents happen, these places should have measures in place to capture as much smoke as possible, so it doesn’t infiltrate our homes, schools, and put us all in danger.  The City Council passed my motion, and I will keep pressure on the City agencies to get that report back to us just as soon as possible so we can determine what next steps we must take to protect our neighborhoods.