BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
                              Senator Wieckowski, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 
           
          Bill No:           SB 1325
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          |Author:    |De León                                              |
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          |Version:   |4/12/2016              |Hearing      |4/20/2016       |
          |           |                       |Date:        |                |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Rachel Machi Wagoner                                 |
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          SUBJECT:  Hazardous waste: facilities: postclosure plans.

            ANALYSIS:
          
          1)Under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act  
            (RCRA) of 1976, governs the disposal of hazardous waste:

              a)    Through regulation, sets standards for the treatment,  
                storage, transport, tracking and disposal of hazardous  
                waste in the United States.   

              b)    Authorizes states to carry out many of the functions  
                of the federal law through their own hazardous waste laws  
                if such programs have been approved by the United States  
                Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).

          2)Under the California Hazardous Waste Control Act (HWCA) of  
            1972:

             a)   Establishes the Hazardous Waste Control program;

             b)   Regulates the appropriate handling, processing and  
               disposal of hazardous and extremely hazardous waste to  
               protect the public, livestock and wildlife from hazards to  
               health and safety.

             c)   Implements federal tracking requirements for the  
               handling and transportation of hazardous waste from the  
               point of waste generation to the point of ultimate  
               disposition.  







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             d)   Establishes a system of fees to cover the costs of  
               operating the hazardous waste management program.

             e)   Authorizes the Department of Toxic Substances Control  
               (DTSC) to enforce federal law and regulations under RCRA.

             f)   Requires DTSC to grant and review permits and enforce  
               HWCA requirements for hazardous waste treatment, storage  
               and disposal facilities for both facilities in operation  
               and those closed and post closure.
               i)     California Code of Regulations Title 22 CCR 66264   
                 implements hazardous waste permitting requirements,  
                 including closure/post closure requirements for  
                 California hazardous waste facilities.

             g)   Provides DTSC the authority to impose post closure plan  
               requirements through an enforcement order or an enforceable  
               agreement.

          This bill:  

           1.  Removes the sunset date of 2009 for the use of enforcement  
              order or enforceable agreements by DTSC to impose post  
              closure plan requirements

           2.  Requires DTSC to adopt new regulations for review,  
              oversight and enforcement of closure and post closure of  
              hazardous waste facilities plans.

            Background
          
           1.  Permitting hazardous waste storage, treatment, and disposal  
              facilities and closure/post closure:  DTSC is responsible  
              for the review of RCRA and non-RCRA hazardous waste permit  
              applications to ensure the safe design and operation;  
              issuance/denial of operating permits; issuance of post  
              closure permits; approval/denial of permit modifications;  
              issuance/denial of emergency permits; review and approval of  
              closure plans; closure oversight of approved closure plans;  
              issuance/denial of variances;  assistance to regulated  
              industry on permitting matters; and public involvement.

             As of 2015, there were 118 DTSC permitted hazardous waste  








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             facilities in California.  These facilities include:  44  
             storage sites, 43 treatment facilities, 3 disposal sites, and  
             28 post-closure sites.

             A facility closure plan demonstrates that hazardous materials  
             at a closed facility have been transported, disposed of, or  
             reused in a manner which eliminates the need for further  
             maintenance and any threat to public health and safety or the  
             environment.

             California follows the federal rules for closure and  
             post-closure rules of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and  
             disposal facilities (TSDFs). However, the state has adopted  
             more stringent requirements for notification, time allowed  
             for closure, and disposal restrictions. In addition, the  
             state requires a variance for any on-site post-closure  
             construction activity and has additional closure and  
             post-closure rules for specific TSDFs.

             Cal/EPA's DTSC enforces the TSDF closure and post-closure  
             requirements in California.

           2.  DTSC Permitting Enhancement Work Plan (PEWP):  In 2014,  
              DTSC developed PEWP to improve DTSC's permitting program and  
              to ensure that the problems of the past do not resurface in  
              the future. The PEWP will serve as a comprehensive work plan  
              for DTSC's efforts to improve the permitting program's  
              ability to issue protective, timely, and enforceable permits  
              using more transparent standards and consistent procedures.

             Key provisions of the PEWP include:

                     Clear and updated permitting standards and decision  
                 making criteria;

                     Increased and early public participation;

                     Enhanced enforcement actions; and,

                     Developing new and more effective engagement  
                 strategies for communities overburdened by multiple  
                 pollution sources.










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           1.  Exide Technologies, Vernon, California.  The Exide facility  
              in Vernon, California was one of two secondary lead smelting  
              facilities in California which recovered lead from recycled  
              automotive batteries.  

             The facility was used for a variety of metal fabrication and  
             metal recovery operations since 1922.  Previous owners have  
             included Morris P. Kirk & Sons, Inc., NL Industries, Gould  
             Inc., and GNB Inc. 

             The facility in Vernon has been operating with an interim  
             hazardous waste facility permit since 1981.  

             In recent years, the Exide facility has brought to light the  
             failings of DTSC's Permitting Program.  Over the 30 years  
             that the facility operated with an interim permit, there were  
             many violations of the permit as well as other regulatory  
             standards, such as those by the South Coast Air Quality  
             Management District, which caused environmental damage and  
             risk to public health.  

             In March, 2015 it was announced that an agreement was reached  
             between the United States Department of Justice and Exide  
             Technologies to permanently close the battery recycling  
             facility in Vernon, CA, and in order to avoid criminal  
             prosecution, Exide Technologies further agreed to a  
             stipulation and order with DTSC to complete remediation  
             activities as specified in the stipulation and order issued  
             by DTSC.  

             This example of a failed process calls into question whether  
             the statutory authorizations, requirements and direction to  
             DTSC is adequate to ensure that the program runs correctly  
             and is appropriately protective of public health and the  
             environment, especially in the vulnerable communities where  
             there are permitted facilities.

             Additionally, it calls into question whether there are other  
             facilities that may currently be similarly causing harm to  
             the communities in which they are located.


             On April 7, 2016, the Senate approved AB 118 (Santiago) which  
             appropriates $176.6 million from the Toxic Substances Control  








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             Account to provide cleanup and investigation of properties  
             contaminated by lead in communities surrounding the Exide  
             Technologies facility in the City of Vernon and other related  
             activities.
            
          Comments
          
          1) Purpose of Bill.  DTSC has not updated its regulations  
             related to closure/post-closure requirements in 20 years.  As  
             we have discovered with the closure of the Exide facility in  
             Vernon, California, and the Senate's on-going oversight of  
             DTSC and its permitting program, there is a great risk of  
             long-term environmental damage and potential public health  
             exposures and harm from some of these facilities.  Much new  
             technology and knowledge about the activities at these  
             facilities and their potential closures has been developed in  
             the last 20 years, especially the impacts to our most  
             vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.  Current practices  
             for closure/post closure requirements should be reviewed and  
             new regulations developed to ensure the appropriate  
             regulatory oversight tools are used to protect human health  
             and the environment.

            Related/Prior Legislation

          SB 673 (Lara, Chapter 611, Statutes of 2015) revises the  
          Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) permitting  
          process and public participation requirements for hazardous  
          waste facilities by creating the Community Oversight Committee  
          and by revising the statutes related to permitting regulation.  

          SB 712 (Lara, Chapter 833, Statutes of 2014) requires the  
          Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), on or before  
          December 31, 2015, to issue a final permit decision on an  
          application for a hazardous waste facilities permit that is  
          submitted by a facility operating under a grant of interim  
          status on or before January 1, 1986, by either issuing a final  
          permit or a final denial of the application.

          SB 812 (De León, 2014) would have required DTSC to adopt  
          regulations by January 1, 2017, to specify conditions for new  
          permits and the renewal of existing permits, as specified, and  
          establishes deadlines for the submission and processing of  
          facility applications, as specified.  SB 812 was vetoed by  








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          Governor Brown.
            
          SOURCE:                    Author  

           SUPPORT:               

          None received  

           OPPOSITION:    

          None received  

                                           
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