The Health Hazardous Materials Division has the authority to enforce environmental laws and regulations in Los Angeles County. Enforcement actions are implemented by various Sections and Units in the Division, including the Investigations Unit.
The Investigations Unit pursues felony and misdemeanor violations of environmental laws that pose a significant threat to human health and the environment. Investigators perform surveillance, collect and evaluate evidence, interview informants and witnesses, prepare and participate in the execution of search warrants, and refer case documentation to local, state, and federal prosecutors.
The Unit is also a leading participant in the environmental task forces of the City of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, and United States Attorney's Office. These task forces are comprised of federal, state, and local prosecutors and regulatory and law enforcement agencies dedicated to the detection and deterrence of environmental violations and the investigation and prosecution of environmental lawbreakers.
FORMAL ENFORCEMENT OPTIONS
Criminal prosecution provides the strongest punishment and greatest deterrent against unlawful conduct that harms or poses a threat of serious harm to public health and the environment. Criminal actions are referred to City Attorneys, District Attorneys or U. S. Attorneys for prosecution. The Investigators provide technical support to the offices prosecuting these cases.
Administrative Enforcement Orders are enforcement actions, including the imposition of penalty fees, by the Health Hazardous Material Division against non-criminal violators of state laws: Hazardous Waste Control; and Hazardous Material Release Response Plans and Inventory.