LOS ANGELES (AP) — A recently approved project that would create two of Hollywood's tallest towers might run directly over an active earthquake fault, raising doubt about whether construction should go forward.
Although the fault's existence has been known for several decades, some geologists believe more seismic testing should be done to determine exactly where it lies. If the fault is found underneath the Millennium towers, the project could be revised or scuttled altogether, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"If you know where an active fault is, you just can't build on it," said James Dolan, a science professor at the University of Southern California. "You just don't do this when you're building structures for human occupancy."
The towers would feature living, working, shopping, dining and recreational activities, the project's website says.
California law prohibits construction of new buildings within 50 feet of an active earthquake fault. A building over a fault can be ripped apart during a large earthquake.
Brian Lewis, a spokesman for the New York-based developer, said no evidence of a fault was found at the site, but he added more testing would be done.
"We're happy to do more testing, and we fully intend to do more testing," he told the Times. "We have no interest in building anything that would be unsafe."
The Hollywood fault is part of a series of faults that run east from the Malibu coast.
There have been questions about how active the fault is. The last time it was known to have ruptured was 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. Any fault that has shown shaking in the past 11,000 years is defined by California as active.
State geologists are reviewing all known data about the fault and will perform a visual examination of it.
The research will culminate with the state creating a zone around the fault.