I am encountering a similiar problem, and according to what I have been seeing the in the code, the ejb-local-ref is not a valid tag in the jboss-web.xml. I also did not see the ejb-local-ref tag in the DTD either.
However, I would also say that changing to just a ejb-ref tag will not fix that problem either, as it appears that the AbstractWebContainer keeps local refs separate from remotes.
Not much help, as I am also having the same problem.
the reference to jboss-web.xml was a "red herring", I completely removed it as suggested by Juha in his response to you. It still works just fine with only the documented ejb-jar.xml entries in Jboss 3.2.1+tomcat and still fails in the same way I mentioned in previous post for 3.2.2RC1+tomcat.