Since 1989 LA Sanitation (LASAN) has been in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local requirements. LASAN has strict quality control monitoring and measurement procedures that it follows to ensure the biosolids it produces are safe and protective of the environment and public health.
In 1993, the US EPA passed the Standards for the Final Use and Disposal of Biosolids which include the Part 503 Rule. Part 503 establishes standards for the final use or disposal of biosolids when they are applied to land, placed on surface disposal sites or fired in an incinerator.
Listed below are regulations that govern the use of biosolids:
Record keeping, monitoring, and reporting are included in some of the regulations. To meet the requirements of the regulations LA Sanitation publishes results, assessments and reports, examples of which can be found in the document library.
LA Sanitation anticipates that in the future regulation may call for different monitoring and/or testing requirements. We actively monitor progress of new legislation and regulations in order to prepare for changes. LASAN is committed to an environmentally sound operation and will continue to meet all applicable regulations.
Kern County voters approved the ban on the import of biosolids with the passage of Measure E in 2006. The City of Los Angeles, along with other affected Southern California counties and agencies, filed a federal lawsuit which was dismissed in November 2010.
On January 18, 2011, Kern County enforced the Measure E ordinance. The ordinance was effective on January 19, 2011 and affected parties had to discontinue land application by July 19, 2011.
In light of the enforcement of Measure E, the City of Los Angeles along with other plaintiffs on January 26, 2011 filed a complaint against the Kern County biosolids initiative and filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction on April 22, 2011 to continue biosolids land application in Kern County pending the outcome of the case.
On June 9, 2011, the Tulare County Superior Court granted Plaintiffs Southern California biosolids generators, contractors, haulers and farmers a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban while the case is heard.
On September 7, 2011, the Court rejected Kern's legal challenges to the sufficiency of Plaintiffs' allegations that Measure E violates the federal Commerce Clause. On September 8, 2011, Kern filed a notice of appeal of the preliminary injunction ruling.
On February 13, 2013, in a detailed 34-page opinion, the California Court of Appeal in Fresno upheld the preliminary injunction, thereby allowing biosolids land application to continue pending the outcome of the case. The Court held that the Measure E ban likely conflicted with state law recycling mandates. The Court also ruled that Measure E likely exceeded Kern County’s authority because the ban on land application did not accommodate the needs of southland communities to manage biosolids. The Court further observed that Kern County had presented no evidence of harm to the environment or public safety from continued land application of biosolids.
Kern petitioned the California Supreme Court for review of the matter. On June 26, the California Supreme Court agreed to take up one of the issues in the litigation: the interpretation of the federal statute that tolls the statute of limitations for state claims while they are being litigated in federal court. The Supreme Court stated the issue to be addressed as follows:
“Does 28 U.S.C. section 1367(d) require a party to re-file its state law claims within 30 days of their dismissal from a federal action in which they had been presented, or does it instead suspend the running of the limitations period during the pendency of the claims in federal court and for 30 days after their dismissal?”
The court did not consider the more substantive issues worthy of review.
To view legal and other documents related to the lawsuit view the document library below.
LA Sanitation uses its Biosolids Environmental Management System (EMS) to ensure regulatory compliance, document program performance, and to maintain certification of its Biosolids Management Program. To maintain certification an agency must have its program audited and verified by a qualified independent party. The audit is based on the Code of Good Practice and standardized auditor protocol established by the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP). To review information about the NBP program, access the National Biosolids Partnership BMP program website.
In June 2003 an independent audit firm, KEMA-Registered Quality Incorporated, conducted the first audit of LASAN's Biosolids Environmental Management System. LA Sanitation received certification of its Biosolids EMS on September 4, 2003. This meant that LASAN has a national certified program that supported excellence in biosolids management practices, exceeded regulatory compliance and provided meaningful opportunities for public participation. LASAN met all the requirements for admittance into the National Biosolids Partnership Environmental Management System Program and was the second agency in the United States to be admitted in the program. Please note that as of 2013 the NBP EMS has been renamed NBP Biosolids Management Program.
Interim audits were conducted on LA Sanitation's program in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 by an independent auditor. The auditor verified that the biosolids management system used by LASAN met the requirements established by the NBP BMP and recommended continued certification.
In September 2013 LA Sanitation conducted a re-verification audit of its biosolids management system. The audit was conducted by an independent audit firm DEKRA Certification Incorporated. The audit covered LASAN's entire biosolids management program, including the contractors who manage LASAN's product.
The auditors found that LA Sanitation's biosolids environment management system continued to meet the NBP BMP requirements and recommended continued certification at platinum level, which is the highest level of achievement for a biosolids management program.
An audit is conducted every year in accordance with an audit schedule that is arranged and approved by the external NBP certified auditor. Certain years it will be an internal audit while other years an external audit will be conducted. The purpose of annual audits is to ensure that LASAN's program is conforming to the requirements of the NBP certified program.
To view the audit process and findings see the documents below. If you have questions or comments concerning the audit results, contact us with the contact information here.