SENATE TO HOLD OVERSIGHT HEARING WEDNESDAY - Repeated Violations of High Levels of Pollution Reported from Facilities with Expired Permits

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SACRAMENTO, CA – At the request of Senator De León (D-Los Angeles), Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. the Senate Environmental Quality Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) hazardous waste management program. After which the Committee will consider Senate Bill 812 (De León) which strengthens the hazardous waste regulatory system and sets deadlines for when hazardous waste facilities’ final permit decisions must be made by DTSC.

WHEN:         Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:       State Capitol, Room 3191

WHO:           Senate Environmental Quality Committee: Senators Jerry Hill (Chair), Ted Gaines (Vice Chair), Ellen Corbett, Jean Fuller, Loni Hancock, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Mark leno and Fran Pavley; the Department of Toxic Substances: Director Debbie Raphael, Deputy Director of the Hazardous Waste Management Program Brian Johnson, and Chief Counsel Reed Sato; and Senator Kevin de León.

WHY:           Currently, DTSC regulates 117 facilities across the state which require a Tier 1, full permit.  These are the facilities which handle the most serious and dangerous hazardous waste. Of these facilities, there are 29 operating on expired permits, in one case as long as 17 years. Several hazardous waste facilities have been allowed by DTSC to continue to operate for years and even decades, even though they have repeatedly violated environmental and public health standards.

The Department of Toxic Substance Control has been asked to address:

·         What issues have been found within the program where improvement is needed?

·         What has DTSC done to begin to address those issues?

·         What are the short- and long-term plans to strengthen this program to ensure adequate protection of public health and the environment?

·         What is DTSC going to do to prevent future problems with this program?

·         In specific instances, what changes are DTSC making that illustrate its progress?

·         Are there statutory changes that could further strengthen California’s management of hazardous waste?

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