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City Shuts Down Boyle Heights Company After Trash Pile Burned for Six Weeks

The city of Los Angeles is moving to shut down a Boyle Heights construction and demolition debris company after a giant mound of trash onsite caught fire and smoldered for six weeks last fall, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday.

Feuer said in a press release that the city has secured a court injunction prohibiting further operation at Clean Up America Inc., and that the company must take immediate steps to clear space for fire lanes. A court hearing is set for next week to hammer out final details.

“The injunction we’ve secured is a positive first step toward cleaning up this incredibly perilous fire hazard,” Feuer said in the statement. “The dangerous conditions at this facility posed a daily threat to residents, businesses and employees in this Boyle Heights neighborhood.”

Attorneys who have represented the company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last Sept. 18, a trash pile 25 feet high and 250 feet wide and estimated to contain 11 million tons of debris caught fire; it smoldered for six weeks until firefighters could clear away enough debris to extinguish the fire.

Feuer said in the statement that firefighters’ access to the debris pile was limited by a lack of fire lanes. He also said company violated state regulations requiring removal of trash within 15 days of disposal onsite, instead allowing the trash to pile up. His office filed suit in December, claiming the site posed an immediate health hazard.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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