A chemical fire at a recycling plant tore through a neighborhood in Maywood, California on June 14 and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. An NBC4- Los Angeles investigation found that Panda International Trading Co., the metal scrap yard that backs up to the neighborhood, was already on regulators’ radar. 

The fallout from an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund cleanup that could cost more than $1 million put the spotlight on hundreds of warehouses in the state. Maywood now exemplifies a statewide danger that many residents don’t know exists — hundreds of businesses using potentially dangerous and poorly regulated materials operating right next to their homes.

Read parts 1-3 of “A Mess in Maywood.”