SACRAMENTO – The Senate approved legislation today by Senator Kevin de Leόn (D-Los Angeles) that will set deadlines to shut down hazardous waste facilities that continue to violate health and safety laws while operating on expired permits. The bill (SB 812) will strengthen the hazardous waste regulatory system, beginning with addressing when final permit decisions must be made by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The floor vote was 27 ayes – 7 noes.
“We are not going to let hazardous waste facilities continue to pollute vulnerable neighborhoods anymore. Some facilities are emitting toxic hazardous waste, including lead, mercury and arsenic. Many of them have been operating under expired permits for decades,” said Senator De Leόn. “Facilities not in compliance with public health and environmental standards will be shut down.”
The DTSC regulates 117 facilities across the state which handle the most serious and dangerous hazardous waste. Of these facilities, 29 are operating on expired permits. Phibro Tech, a chemical manufacturer in Santa Fe Springs has been allowed to operate on an expired permit for 17 years.
SB 812 :
• Requires DTSC to make a permit renewal decision to either approve or deny within three years from the original permit expiration date.
• In cases where no permit decision is made by three years from the original expiration date, a facility will no longer be allowed to operate.
• Requires DTSC to make a permit decision within three years for any facility with interim permit authorization.
SB 812 will be heard next by the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.
For more information: http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/exide