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By Donna Littlejohn
donna.littlejohn@langnews. com @donnalittlejohn on Twitter
Hoping to galvanize offi cial support for its cause, a group trying to push volatile butane storage tanks out of San Pedro gained the unanimous support Tuesday of the Los Angeles school board.
The board approved a resolution by board member Richard Vladovic calling for the Rancho Liquefi ed Petroleum Gas facility at 2110 N. Gaffey St. to be moved, citing the proximity of three district campuses, including Taper Avenue Elementary School.
The tanks, according to the resolution, present the potential dangers and asks federal, state and local agencies to join in support of relocating the tanks.
Critics intend to approach the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles in a new front to move the tanks after years of effort.
The school board resolution, attorney Noel Weiss said, provides a significant “nudge” to the Los Angeles harbor commission and city entities to join forces encouraging a move.
“The fact that you guys are leading the charge on this is very much appreciated,” Weiss told the board, adding that the tanks are owned by the same company responsible for the Santa Barbara pipeline leak last year.
A letter from U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, D-San Pedro, also was read in support of moving the tanks “for the safety of our community.”
“The Rancho LPG tanks store millions of gallons of butane and propane near the surrounding communities of San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes,” Hahn wrote. “These tanks are located not in an industrial area but a residential area — so families live near them and children attend school … and take part in recreational activities near this hazardous area. This is unacceptable to our mutual constituents.”
Retired Los Angeles Harbor College professor June Bulingame Smith of San Pedro told board members that the community’s requests for safety studies go back to the mid-1980s.
If the tanks can’t be relocated, she told them, “move the school.”
Company officials point to numerous compliance checks executed by several agencies that indicate the facility is operating safely.
The resolution was approved as a consent item and did not include any discussion by board members.
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