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Debbie Raphael, Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), abruptly resigned not long before the publication of this report. Her resignation was an acknowledgment of the deep problems Consumer Watchdog previously raised.


California has some of the toughest environmental laws in the nation, but some of the weakest enforcement. Toxic pollution emissions to soil and water rose ten percent in 2011, after steadily falling since 2007, according to the US EPA. Toxic pollution is affecting communities across the state from heavily industrial working-class communities to bedroom communities built on old farmland.

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.

Thank you for your contribution! We are only able to sustain our efforts thanks to the generous support of people like you. We'll be in touch soon with news about our upcoming battles to protect your rights and your pocket book.

In the meantime, here are some other ways you can join the fight:

Your email in support of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights has been sent to your representatives! We'll keep you updated on new developments.

We can't appreciate your support enough. Big companies have their money and their lobbyists; we have our votes and each other.

There are two more things you can do right now to help:

First, share our action with your friends.

The insurance industry will spend millions of dollars on deceptive advertising claiming Prop 33 will save everyone money. We can't match their money and flashy television ads, but with your help we will win the way we always do: With personal stories and grassroots power.

Do you have a video camera or a webcam and access to a computer?  Then our response to Prop 33 starts with you!

Since 1975 the value of everything has gone up, except the value of a child’s life. A cap that doesn’t adjust for inflation was flawed from the day it was signed. 38 years is too late not to do something about it.


I want to help with a California ballot measure that will be on the November 2014 statewide ballot, that will make health insurers publicly justify their rate increases before they take effect. Please keep me informed and let me know what I can do.

You can also visit to keep up with the latest.