LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has successfully secured an injunction prohibiting further operation at a construction and demolition debris company in Boyle Heights that allowed an 11-million ton mountain of flammable materials to pile up to 25 feet high, catching fire and smoldering for six weeks. The site, the epicenter of multiple fires, required numerous City resources to contain.
"The injunction we've secured is a positive first step toward cleaning up this incredibly perilous fire hazard," said Feuer. "The dangerous conditions at this facility posed a daily threat to residents, businesses and employees in this Boyle Heights neighborhood."
The injunction approved by the court prohibits Clean Up America Inc., and its operators at 2900 East Lugo Street in Boyle Heights from hauling debris to the property or allowing additional debris to be placed on site. The defendants were also ordered to immediately establish accessible fire lanes as determined by the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Further hearings are scheduled for June 30, 2017, to finalize the court’s order and ensure the facility is in full compliance with State, County and City fire and life safety laws. The City Attorney will also seek full restitution to LAFD and to the Department of Public Works, Sanitation Bureau for the cost of removing thousands of tons of debris during the 2016 fire abatement as well as all investigative costs.
The civil lawsuit alleges that over a period of two years, Clean Up America Inc. failed to sort and remove debris within its required 15 day period and instead allowed incoming debris to be piled on top of already existing debris. As a result, an 11-million ton mountain of construction debris was created measuring 250 feet wide by 250 feet long and more than 25 feet high. On September 18, 2016, three weeks after being ordered by regulators to stop accepting incoming material and remove all refuse from the site, the refuse caught fire and smoldered for over six weeks. Its immense size left no room for fire access lanes, hampering LAFDs ability to quickly put out the fire.
Clean Up America Inc. continued to bring debris to the facility despite repeated orders from regulators to stop.
Deputy City Attorney Jessica Brown and Deputy City Attorney Juliann Anderson are handling this litigation.