Golden Wasteland is a six-month long study by Consumer Watchdog of The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the job it's doing to protect Californians and the environment from toxic harm. Based on interviews with DTSC staff, present and former, as well as environmental lawyers, prosecutors, advocates, consultants, and affected communities, it is clear that the DTSC is falling down on the job. We have some of the toughest environmental laws in the nation, and some of the weakest enforcement. The DTSC epitomizes this problem, allowing serial polluters to cut deals with the department out of court time and again instead of revoking their permits, letting polluters operate on expired permits for years at a time, and levying wrist-slap penalties instead of applying maximum fines. The DTSC sits on its hands while hazardous waste management companies and large-scale generators of hazardous waste poison communities. In some cases, people are likely dying. Meantime, enforcement has crumbled at the DTSC and we have no cop on the beat. It's time for Governor Jerry Brown and DTSC Director Debbie Raphael to replace top managers at the department and reform this toxic regulator so it becomes the regulator of toxics that it is supposed to be.
Read the report below, or download it here.