HAYDEN CHALLENGES LAUSD PENALTIES.
Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles, said Wednesday that air quality officials plan to impose only ``token'' penalties on the Los Angeles Unified School District for air-quality violations that exposed Jefferson Middle School students to carcinogens from late 1997 to mid-1998.
In a statement, Hayden called for harsher penalties, saying it was his understanding that the South Coast Air Quality Management District was negotiating behind closed doors to impose what he called a ``paltry'' $25,000 fine.
``This is not a catalyst to change behavior at the school district,'' the lawmaker said. ``It is not a penalty at all, but regulatory relief instead of serious consequences.''
The air quality violations were revealed in September at a Senate hearing, when it was determined that a vapor extraction system designed to clean the soil of toxics was not functioning correctly - if at all - and that district officials and state agencies knew about the problem.
Also, it was determined that the carcinogen methylene chloride, which had not been detected before in tests, was being emitted.
After the legislative hearing, the air district cited the LAUSD with 113 violations. Later tests found that children were not harmed by the emissions.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Mar 11, 1999|
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