Mike Rogge

DTSC's Independent Review Panel releases its third report on enforcement program

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, Aug. 5, 2016

The Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Independent Review Panel (IRP) submitted its third 90-day report to Governor Brown and the Legislature on July 26th.  The latest report is devoted entirely to DTSC’s enforcement program.

DTSC acknowledged deficiencies in its inspection and enforcement efforts when it created its strategic plan for 2014-2018 and also when it submitted its budget change proposal to improve enforcement performance in 2015.  The Department has been working on this Improving Enforcement Performance Workplan and expects to accomplish all of the proposal’s goals by the target date of June 2017.  The IRP commended DTSC for meeting or exceeding its federal inspection targets under the RCRA Grant as well as nearly all of its state inspection commitments and targets during the last fiscal year.

The report offers three recommendations to the Governor and Legislature:

1. Include inspection frequencies for permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities and hazardous waste generators in statute.  The IRP believe the frequencies should be based on facility compliance history, quantity of waste, toxicity risk, and proximity to sensitive habitats and populations at risk, including disadvantaged communities.

2. Support AB 1858 (Santiago) which requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish and Unlicensed Automobile Dismantling Task Force to investigate the occurrences of unlicensed vehicle dismantling.

3. Increase the maximum penalty for violation of the health and safety code to make them equivalent to the federal maximum penalties for similar violations with an inflation allowance.

The IRP report also offers six recommendations for DTSC and suggests 5 performance metrics.  A complete copy of the July report and the previous January and April 2016 reports can be found here.

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