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SB-42 Department of Toxic Substances Control: Board of Environmental Safety.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 12/08/2020 04:00 AM


Senate Bill
No. 42

Introduced by Senator Wieckowski

December 07, 2020

An act to add Section 25110.2.1 to, and to add Article 2.1 (commencing with Section 25125) to Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to hazardous waste.


SB 42, as introduced, Wieckowski. Department of Toxic Substances Control: Board of Environmental Safety.
Existing law provides that the Department of Toxic Substances Control regulates the handling and management of hazardous substances, materials, and waste. Existing law requires the department to, among other things, issue hazardous waste facilities permits to facilities handling hazardous waste and to enforce the requirements of the hazardous waste control laws.
This bill would establish the Board of Environmental Safety in the department. The bill would prescribe the membership of the board and would require the board to conduct no fewer than 6 public meetings per year. The bill would impose duties on the board, which would include, among others, hearing and deciding appeals of hazardous waste facility permit decisions; proposing statutory changes for hazardous waste management in the state; developing a multiyear schedule for long-term goals for specified department activities; and annually preparing and transmitting to the Secretary for Environmental Protection a review of the department’s performance. The bill would establish an office of the ombudsperson in the board to receive complaints and suggestions from the public, to evaluate complaints, to report findings and make recommendations to the Director of Toxic Substances Control and the board, and to render assistance to the public.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 25110.2.1 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

 “Board” means the Board of Environmental Safety.

SEC. 2.

 Article 2.1 (commencing with Section 25125) is added to Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  2.1. Board of Environmental Safety

 (a) The Board of Environmental Safety is hereby established in the department.
(b) (1) The board shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor.
(2) The membership of the board shall include the following:
(A) One board member shall be an attorney admitted to practice law in this state who is qualified in the field of environmental law pertaining to hazardous waste, hazardous substances, or site remediation.
(B) One board member shall be an environmental scientist qualified in the field of toxicology, chemistry, geology, industrial hygiene, or engineering specific to the statutory responsibilities of the board.
(C) One board member shall have expertise in public health.
(D) One board member shall be selected from the general public.
(E) One board member shall have expertise in cumulative impact assessment and management.
(c) All board members shall represent the general public interest.
(d) Three board members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of the board.
(e) (1) A board member shall be appointed for a term of four years, except as provided in paragraph (2). A vacancy shall be immediately filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the term in which it occurs.
(2) The terms of the board members shall be staggered. Two initial members shall serve a two-year term, and three initial members shall serve a four-year term. The Governor shall determine which initial members shall serve two-year terms and which shall serve four-year terms.
(f) A member of the board may be removed by the Governor for neglect of duty, misconduct, or malfeasance in office after being provided with a written statement of the charges and an opportunity to be heard.
(g) The board shall adopt rules for the conduct of its affairs. The rules shall be exempt from Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(h) The Attorney General shall represent the board in litigation concerning affairs of the board, unless the Attorney General represents another state agency that is a party to the action. In that case, the Attorney General may represent the board with the written consent of the board and the other state agency, the board may contract for the services of private counsel to represent the board subject to Section 11040 of the Government Code, or the legal counsel of the board may represent the board. Sections 11041 and 11042 of the Government Code shall not apply to the board.
(i) The chairperson of the board, who shall be appointed by the Governor, shall be full time and shall receive the salary provided for in Section 11553 of the Government Code. Other members of the board shall serve one-half time and shall receive one-half of the salary provided for in Section 11553.5 of the Government Code.
(j) If necessary, a board member may travel within or out of the state.

 (a) The board shall conduct no fewer than six public meetings per year, at least three of which shall be held outside of the greater Sacramento area.
(b) The board shall, using a public process, do all of the following:
(1) Hear and decide appeals of hazardous waste facility permit decisions.
(2) Provide opportunities for public hearings on individual permitted or remediation sites.
(3) Evaluate alternatives and develop recommendations to the director for a contemporary plan for hazardous waste management in the state provided in Section 25135.9 including statutory changes and an identification of the resources required to deliver the plan.
(4) Review and approve the director’s annual priorities for each program under the department at a public hearing, including clear performance metrics. The director shall provide annual updates on progress toward meeting the priorities.
(5) In consultation with the director, and with consideration of available resources, develop a multiyear schedule for the discussion of long-term goals for the following department activities:
(A) The department’s processing of hazardous waste facility permits and proposals to improve the efficiency of the permitting process.
(B) The department’s duties and responsibilities in law and proposals to improve the department’s ability to meet those duties and responsibilities.
(C) The site mitigation program and proposals for the prioritization of the cleanup of contaminated properties.
(D) The department’s implementation of its enforcement activities.

 The director, or a designee, shall present and respond to the board, if requested to do so by the board, on any issue or item brought forward by a member of the public, the ombudsperson appointed pursuant to Section 25125.8, or a board member.

 The board shall annually prepare and transmit to the Secretary for Environmental Protection an annual review of the department’s performance against the department’s objectives, including, but not limited to, the performance of the director.

 (a) There is established in the board an office of the ombudsperson. The board shall appoint an ombudsperson who shall serve full time at the pleasure of the board.
(b) (1) The purpose of the ombudsperson is to serve as an impartial resource to the public.
(2) The office of the ombudsperson shall fulfill this purpose through the following duties:
(A) Receiving complaints and suggestions from the public.
(B) Evaluating complaints.
(C) Reporting findings and making recommendations to the director and the board.
(D) Rendering assistance to the public, when appropriate.
(c) The board, in consultation with the director, shall determine the activities the ombudsperson may undertake.
(d) The board shall establish procedures for the ombudsperson, which shall include the following:
(1) Safeguards to encourage the public to submit complaints or suggestions, and safeguards to ensure confidentiality.
(2) Forms the public can use to submit complaints and suggestions to the ombudsperson.
(3) Criteria for prioritization of complaints and suggestions submitted to the ombudsperson.
(4) Access to information and resources to help the public understand the department’s activities and to become involved in the department’s regulatory processes.
(e) A member of the public may submit a complaint or make a suggestion to the ombudsperson regarding any action, program, or policy of the department.

 (a) The board may adopt regulations to carry out its duties and responsibilities established under this article.
(b) A regulation adopted pursuant to this article may be adopted as an emergency regulation in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and for purposes of that chapter, including Section 11349.6 of the Government Code, the adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, and general welfare. Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, an emergency regulation adopted by the board pursuant to this subdivision shall be filed with, but not be repealed by, the Office of Administrative Law.