El Segundo General Plan - 1992

11. Hazardous Materials &

Waste Management Element

Table of Contents


Analysis of Existing Conditions

Goals, Objectives, Policies and Programs

Goal HM1: Protect Health and Safety

Goal HM2: Minimize Risk

Goal HM3: Compliance with State Law

Goal HM4: State, Federal & County Goals

Goal HM5: Waste Generation

Goal HM6: Siting Hazardous Waste Management Facility

Goal HM7: City Authority

Goal HM8: Economic Viability


Purpose and Authority

The City of El Segundo possesses a strong, diversified economic base which includes a variety of industrial and commercial businesses. This base, while vital to the economic health of the City, also represents a potential source of problems from improper management of hazardous materials and waste.

The consequences of hazardous material and waste mismanagement throughout the nation are well documented and are reflected in polluted ground and surface water, soil, and air. Improper disposal has been associated with elevated levels of toxics in humans, aquatic species, and livestock. Illegal dumping of hazardous waste along roadsides or in open fields has resulted in explosions, fires, contaminated ground water, and air pollution. Prudent management is critical to the protection of public health, the environment, and the economy.

In response to this growing problem, a variety of Federal and State legislation has been passed to control hazardous materials and waste.

The Los Angeles County Hazardous Waste Management Plan (LACoHWMP) developed in response to this legislation was approved by the California DHS on November 30, 1989. According to Chapter 1167 (SB 477, Greene) of the 1987 State Statutes, each city within the county must either:

1. Adopt a city hazardous waste management plan, or

2. Incorporate the applicable portions of the approved LACoHWMP, by reference, into the city's general plan, or

3. Enact an ordinance which requires that all applicable zoning, subdivision, conditional use permit, and variance decisions are consistent with the portions of the approved county plan which identify general areas or siting criteria for hazardous waste facilities.

According to Chapter 1167 (25135.7 [c][1]), the city plan must be consistent with the approved County Hazardous Waste Management Plan. However, the statute states further that it does not limit the authority of any city to attach appropriate conditions to the issuance of any land use approval for a hazardous waste facility in order to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, and does not limit the authority of a city to establish more stringent planning requirements or siting criteria than those specified in the County Hazardous Waste Management Plan (25135.7 [d]).

In accordance with State law, the City of El Segundo has elected to prepare and adopt its own Hazardous Waste Management Element of the General Plan, incorporating by reference as appropriate, applicable portions of the LACoHWMP. This Element of the General Plan and its accompanying background report are intended to be that plan. As such, this Element should be recognized as an expansion of the City's traditional concern regarding hazardous materials to include hazardous waste management.

Analysis of Existing Conditions

Hazardous Materials


Many of the industries operating in El Segundo use hazardous materials in their operations. Since industry is the major land use in the City, hazardous materials use and management is a serious consideration. Exhibit HM-1 presents the locations of the major hazardous materials users in the City.

State regulations mandate that each business using hazardous materials prepare a business plan listing the types and quantities of materials used and their associated risks. These plans are to be submitted to an administrative agency which, in turn, is to prepare an area plan based on the hazardous materials within the jurisdiction of the agency.

In El Segundo, the administrative agency is the City Fire Department. The Fire Department maintains a list of all companies using hazardous materials, an inventory of those materials, and an assessment of the risks posed by the materials at each facility. Each facility is inspected to ensure that materials are properly managed on site.



Hazardous Waste

Quantities, Types,

and Sources

Residents and businesses in El Segundo generated approximately 25,200 tons of hazardous waste requiring off-site treatment or disposal in 1988. This total includes 15,200 tons of manifested waste from major generators (Exhibit HM-2), an estimated 412 tons from small quantity generators, an estimated 12 tons from households, and an estimated 9,600 tons from contaminated site cleanups.

This waste quantity is a significant decrease from the waste quantities generated in 1986 when the LACoHWMP was prepared. In 1986, major generators and contaminated site cleanups generated 49,862 tons of hazardous waste. Since 1986, however, many of the industries in the City have implemented waste minimization plans which have resulted, in some cases, in dramatic reductions in waste quantities. While the rate of decrease has slowed since 1988, the total quantities have continued to decrease, and appear likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

At this time it is projected that, over the next 5 years, the quantity of hazardous waste from the major generators will decrease 30 percent as a result of on-site waste reduction programs.

The potential magnitude of this reduction has become evident over the last few years as these programs have gone into effect. Adding to this decrease will be the planned move away from heavy manufacturing toward more service and commercial businesses in the City.

The quantity of hazardous waste from small-quantity generators may increase due to the projected overall changes in the City's economic base, i.e., the El Segundo of 1995 may include more small businesses and companies with low waste generation rates.

As the population increases, the quantity of household hazardous waste will increase. There is little the City can do to affect this. It is possible that Federal regulations and market considerations may lead to many hazardous household products being replaced by innocuous materials, but this is beyond the control of the City.

Therefore, the City should prepare for up to 13.0 tons of household hazardous waste per year by 1995.

Quantities of waste from site cleanups will increase as more sites are identified and remediated. However, as a result of new regulations and guidelines, the number of sites becoming contaminated should decrease. As a result, by the year 1995, waste from site cleanups should decrease from the present levels.

Facilities Needs

Industries in El Segundo generate a diverse mix of hazardous waste requiring a variety of different treatment technologies. In general, no particular waste type or treatment method predominates to such an extent that establishing a Treatment Storage Disposal (TSD) facility based on El Segundo waste would be economically viable. Only the quantity of burnable waste generated might justify locating an incinerator in El Segundo. However, the majority of this waste is contaminated soil, and, as such, represents a temporary waste load.

Consequently, the hazardous waste from El Segundo must be viewed in the context of regional facilities needs, and addressed as part of a regional planning effort. This is emphasized by the downward trend in hazardous waste generation noted among El Segundo industries.

Siting of Off-Site


The California DHS has published a series of criteria for siting off-site hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. These same criteria are presented in the LACoHWMP.

Using these criteria, virtually any commercial or industrial area in El Segundo would be potentially suitable for siting a treatment or storage facility, with the exception of the beach area, the military facilities, and the Blue Butterfly preserve at the refinery. Major parts of the City (especially the area west of Sepulveda Boulevard) are marginal due to soil conditions, and would require extensive engineering to develop a site. No sites suitable for a disposal facility (residuals repository) were identified in the City.

Through this Element, the City of El Segundo has added an additional criterion. Off-site commercial hazardous waste facilities are to be limited to areas zoned for heavy manufacturing. None of these siting criteria are meant to apply to private on-site facilities which are regulated under State and Federal guidelines, but the City does give such facilities a discretionary review.

Waste Minimization

Waste minimization is the favored approach to reducing the need for land disposal facilities. It is the most environmentally sound and economically sensible means of addressing the growing hazardous waste problem.

As a result, waste minimization has been set as the primary goal of the LACoHWMP, and is a vital part of this Element. The County is developing an industrial education program designed to facilitate waste minimization efforts. The City of El Segundo supports this development, and will provide appropriate assistance in disseminating the information.


Waste minimization efforts among individual companies in El Segundo have already proven productive. From 1986 to 1988, total hazardous waste generation in El Segundo decreased by 50 percent.


Both the California Highway Patrol and the LACoHWMP have identified transportation routes and corridors in and near El Segundo which are considered to be suitable for transporting hazardous materials and wastes. Exhibit HM-3 presents these routes. The City has additional ordinances affecting the transport of such materials.

Because of the concentration of business and daytime employees in El Segundo, however, the City has severe traffic congestion problems at peak traffic hours. Under LACoHWMP guidelines, hazardous waste transportation traffic should be limited to other than peak traffic hours.

In the event that a facility is proposed for siting in El Segundo, traffic must be a major consideration. It is recommended that any facility planning include a discussion of the possibility of rail transport of waste.

Public Participation

Public involvement is an important step in hazardous material and waste management planning. Public review and comments were a significant part of the development of both the LACoHWMP and this Element. The public will continue to be provided with opportunities to comment on future Element revisions and proposals for waste management facilities.

Public education is a vital part of informed public participation. The County is developing public education programs. The City of El Segundo will provide appropriate assistance to the County in the dissemination of such information.

Emergency Response

The City of El Segundo Fire Department is the primary emergency response agency in the City. This agency is supported by the City Police Department and County Health Services. In the event of a major emergency, the County Fire Department would provide additional support.

Recognizing the primary role played by the City Fire Department, it is essential to ensure that the Department is adequately trained and equipped to respond to hazardous material and waste emergencies in the City.


Hazardous Waste Sites

At the present time, there are approximately 25 contaminated sites in the City of El Segundo, most of which consist of leaking underground storage tanks (Exhibit HM-4). The City currently has no internal programs to identify such sites or to monitor their remediation. These activities fall within the jurisdiction of several County and State/Regional agencies.

The City is considering implementing a policy whereby developers of commercial/industrial properties may be required to submit an environmental assessment of the property to the Planning Division as part of the permitting process. Evidence of remediation of contaminated sites would be required before development would be permitted. In this way, the City can be involved in the identification and remediation of such sites.

Household Hazardous Waste

The City of El Segundo initiated a household hazardous waste collection program in 1984. The program has been fairly successful in terms of resident participation.

This program, conducted under the direction of the City Public Works Department, is limited to residents of El Segundo. One day each year is set aside for residents to bring old paint, oil, thinners, pesticides, and related hazardous waste to the City maintenance yard. At the yard, the material is packaged by a registered hazardous waste hauler and transported to a disposal site. In 1987 and 1988, over 40 drums of household hazardous waste were collected.



The economy of the City of El Segundo rests on a strong base of industrial and commercial activities. Heavy industry is the largest single land use in the City. While a gradual change from manufacturing to a service-based economy is anticipated, the City recognizes the continuing role to be played by heavy industry. This Element is designed to meet the present and future needs of both the community at large and the industrial sector of the City, in terms of hazardous materials management.

The City of El Segundo feels that this objective can best be accomplished by retaining control over land use decisions within the City limits. Under the approved LACoHWMP, part of such control would lie with the County. Decisions made in the best interest of the County might not be consistent with development plans for the City, or even in the best interest of the City.

While the City does not wish to be placed in a position of opposing projects designed to serve the County as a whole, the City of El Segundo feels that such projects must be consistent with local goals. Thus, the City seeks to retain control over siting, permitting, and other related land use decisions through this General Plan Element.


Goals, Objectives, and Policies


The objectives of this Element are diverse and reflect the specific issues facing the City and nation in regard to hazardous materials and wastes. The specifics are discussed in the appropriate subsections of the Analysis of Existing Conditions.

It is the stated policy of the City of El Segundo to ensure that hazardous material and waste management in the City is sound from a public health and environmental point of view, and that it is consistent with all applicable local, regional, county, state, and federal laws and regulations. To the greatest extent possible, consistent with local land use planning, the City of El Segundo intends to cooperate with the County of Los Angeles in implementing the goals, objectives, and policies of the LACoHWMP.

The goals and policies discussed below are seen as critical issues. They represent the framework for developing this Element, and are the basis for the overall hazardous material and waste management strategy of the City.

Goal HM1: Protect Public Health and Safety


Protect health and safety of citizens and businesses within El Segundo and neighboring communities.

Objective HM1-1

Make the County and City Hazardous Waste Management Plans available for review through the City Planning Division.

Policy HM1-1.1

Make this Element and its accompanying Background- Management Report available to the public.

Objective HM1-2

Continue to promote development of public education programs on hazardous materials safety and emergency preparedness.

Policy HM1-2.1

Provide ample opportunities for citizen participation in the planning, siting, and permitting processes.

Policy HM1-2.2

Assist the County, as appropriate, in the dissemination of information and educational programs to the public and industry.

Goal HM2: Minimize Risks

Objective HM2-1

Maintain and update a comprehensive emergency plan consisting of measures to be taken during and after hazardous materials spills.

Policy HM2-1.1

Enhance the existing efforts of the El Segundo Fire Department to coordinate the preparation of individual business plans and an area plan.

Policy HM2-1.2

Enhance existing emergency response capabilities.

Policy HM2-1.3

Ensure maintenance of equipment and adequate training of personnel.

Policy HM2-1.4

Establish evacuation routes for emergencies and coordinate emergency response with neighboring cities and the county.

Goal HM3: Compliance with State Laws


Ensure compliance with State laws regarding hazardous materials and waste management.

Objective HM3-1

Assist the State and County as appropriate in the dissemination of regulatory information about hazardous materials and waste to the public and businesses.

Policy HM3-1.1

Ensure, through appropriate cooperation with State and County enforcement agencies, that all companies within the City comply with applicable hazardous material management laws.

Policy HM3-1.2

Review existing City Zoning Code to determine if stricter permitting procedures, hazardous materials and waste transportation, and other safety considerations are necessary to meet recent changes in Hazardous Material Suppression standards.

Policy HM3-1.3

The City Police Department is to strictly enforce regulations regarding inspection of vehicles and training/licensing of transportation personnel.

Policy HM3-1.4

Adhere to routing criteria presented in the Background Report accompanying this Element and that developed in the LACoHWMP.

Goal HM4: State, Federal, and County Goals


Assist in meeting State, Federal, and County hazardous materials and waste management goals, as these are consistent with City goals.

Goal HM5: Waste Generation


Assist in meeting State and County goals to reduce hazardous waste generation to the maximum extent possible.

Objective HM5-1

Identify all generators and transporters of hazardous materials and wastes within the City, and either establish a system to monitor the transportation and disposal of these wastes or access the existing State system.

Policy HM5-1.1

Adopt waste minimization as a first priority in waste management strategies in the City.

Policy HM5-1.2

Require all businesses generating hazardous wastes within the City to submit annual status reports to the County Department of Public Works.

Policy HM5-1.3

Assist the State and County, as appropriate, in providing information needed by the public and industries to take rational steps to minimize, recycle, treat, and otherwise manage hazardous wastes.

Policy HM5-1.4

Continue efforts to promote and expand citizen participation in the existing program to collect and dispose of household wastes.

Goal HM6: Siting Hazardous Waste Management Facilities


Identify areas within the City potentially suitable for siting hazardous waste management facilities consistent with the criteria presented in the LACoHWMP and consistent with the City General Plan.

Policy HM6-1

Ensure consistency of any proposed facility siting with City land use decisions, City zoning, this Element, and the LACoHWMP.

Policy HM6-2

Ensure consideration of human, social, and environmental factors in any siting decision.

Policy HM6-3

Ensure consideration of routing criteria and traffic problems in any siting decision.

Policy HM6-4

Ensure that sites of any facilities are located near generators and in appropriately zoned areas.

Policy HM6-5

Encourage the consideration of rail transportation in any decision to site an off-site treatment, storage, or disposal facility in El Segundo.

Goal HM7: City Authority


Maintain authority for local land use decisions as vested in the City by the State of California under Section 25199.5, Article 8.7, Chapter 6.5, Division 20, of the Health and Safety Code.

Goal HM8: Economic Viability


Maintain the economic viability of the City of El Segundo.

Policy HM8-1

Promote continuous updating of business plans by companies in the City.

Return to General Plan Index