Will Regulators Get Extra Power To Leave Hazardous and Radioactive Waste In Place On Last Day Of Session?

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SANTA MONICA, CA—In the fine print of “environmental justice” legislation, AB 1330 (Speaker John Perez) is a huge to gift to polluters that allows the state’s toxics regulator to make a plan for “reducing the disposal of hazardous waste that may post a significant threat to human health or the environment to the maximum extent practicable.”

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has been a captive of polluters, as chronicled in a Consumer Watchdog report “Golden Wasteland.” Provisions of AB 1330, written at the regulator’s request, could skew outcomes of environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to favor leaving much larger amounts of hazardous and radioactive waste in communities, rather than cleaning it up. For example, cleanup of sites like the Santa Susana Field Lab in Simi Valley could be affected if Boeing, which is very close to DTSC director Debbie Rafael, is given a reprieve from the Department.

“This eleventh hour, gut-and-amend legislation has a huge ticking time bomb for the environment that would let a captive regulator create plans to help polluters like brownfields developers, Boeing and Chevron keep ‘waste in place’ rather that remove it,” said Liza Tucker of Consumer Watchdog. “Time and again threatened industries that are huge contributors in Sacramento seek fine print get out of jail cards from the legislature on the last day of session. Without amendment, AB 1330 will be one of those attacks on the public interest.”

For more see our report “Golden Wasteland”:

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Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker is a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, following everything from oil and gas to the regulation of toxic substances in the state of California. She comes to us from Marketplace, the largest U.S. broadcast show on business and economics heard by ten million listeners each week on 400 radio stations. Liza worked at this public radio show for a decade, first as Commentary Editor and then as Senior Editor for both Washington and Sustainability News.

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