Santa Monica city attorneys said they have warned 12 city businesses about allegedly illegally generating or storing hazardous materials.

The city attorney’s office sent letters January 22nd advising each business that the city’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE) had referred its case for prosecution based on the business’s alleged failure to meet hazardous materials permit requirements.

The alleged permit failures and violations by the 12 businesses have continued despite multiple notices and numerous contacts from representatives of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, city attorneys said.

California and Santa Monica laws require permits, fees and hazardous materials inventories from any business generating or storing significant amounts of hazardous materials.

“Our goal is to protect the safety of our community and the environment from the hazards of everyday chemicals,” said James Conway, Office of Sustainability senior environmental analyst. “In order to do so, we need the full participation and cooperation of the business community with these state and local requirements.

“Unfortunately, when businesses decide to operate without a valid permit and fail to properly disclose the chemicals they are using, they are unnecessarily placing their own employees, city residents, and emergency response personnel at risk. OSE is here to assist businesses with compliance.”

Deputy city attorney Gary Rhoades said the warning letter gives each business one more chance to comply, by Monday, February 2nd, and the office is prepared to file prosecutions immediately after that deadline passes.