The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to fund an off-site wastewater testing plan for a site adjacent to a Lincoln Heights development, where Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez said testing has indicated “high levels of volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.”

“These levels are well above acceptable for any residential area, let alone an area that is surrounded by homes, apartments and elementary schools,” Hernandez said.

The development, approved in 2020 and under construction, is a 468-unit apartment complex with a first-floor retail space. It is located on land that was used for industrial purposes, according to a motion by Hernandez.

The council approved transferring $146,000 from the First District’s discretionary funds to the LA Sanitation and Environment department for off-site sampling and testing. It previously approved the testing in May.

Hernandez said city regulations do not currently require testing and sampling to be conducted off-site in the surrounding community, even though dirt from the site is visible beyond fencing dividers.

The council directed LASAN to develop a multi-lingual outreach plan in English, Spanish and Chinese for the community.

“Our communities deserve safety and transparency,” Hernandez said. “Hopefully, we can work to make outreach and testing sites like these a standard practice.”

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