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SB-575 Hazardous waste facility permits: regulations.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/15/2021 09:00 PM
SB575:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 15, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 04, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 575


Introduced by Senator Durazo
(Coauthor: Senator Gonzalez)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cristina Garcia and Santiago)

February 18, 2021


An act to add Section 25200.21.5 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to hazardous waste.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 575, as amended, Durazo. Hazardous waste facility permits: regulations.
Existing law requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control, on or before January 1, 2018, to adopt regulations establishing or updating criteria used to issue a new, modified, or renewed hazardous waste facilities permit, which may include criteria for the denial or suspension of a permit. Existing law requires the department to consider for inclusion in the regulations specified criteria, including, but not limited to, the number and types of past violations that will result in a denial of a hazardous waste facilities permit. The department’s regulations, known as the Violations Scoring Procedure, require the department to calculate an annual Facility Violations Scoring Procedure Score or Facility VSP Score for a permitted hazardous waste facility by adding the provisional or final inspection violation scores, as described, for each compliance inspection, as defined, conducted during the preceding 10-year period, divided by the number of compliance inspections that occurred during that 10-year period. Existing law requires the department to assign a hazardous waste facility to one of 3 compliance tiers, which consist of acceptable, conditionally acceptable, and unacceptable, based on the facility’s Facility VSP Score and to take certain actions, including, but not limited to, taking steps to modify, deny, suspend, or revoke a hazardous waste facilities permit, if the facility falls within a conditionally unacceptable or unacceptable compliance tier.
This bill would require the department, on or before by January 1, 2023, to revise its Violations Scoring Procedure regulations to calculate the Facility VSP Score of a hazardous waste facility for the 2022 calendar year, and annually thereafter, by adding the provisional or final inspection violation scores for each compliance inspection conducted during the preceding 10-year period. The bill would prohibit the department from dividing the sum of the provisional and final inspection violation scores by the number of compliance inspections that occurred during that 10-year period. The bill would continue to require the department to assign a hazardous waste facility to a compliance tier based on the facility’s Facility VSP Score, but would revise the numerical ranges for each compliance tier. The bill would require the department to revise its Violations Scoring Procedure regulations for consistency with those provisions by July 1, 2022.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California has a critical interest in ensuring that community members are protected from the harms of hazardous waste facilities and that hazardous waste facilities are held accountable for their violations.
(b) In 2015, the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 673 (Chapter 611 of the Statutes of 2015), which required the Department of Toxic Substances Control to establish or update criteria for evaluating a hazardous waste facility’s compliance history when making permit decisions. In accordance with the law, the department developed the Violations Scoring Procedure regulations, which became effective on January 1, 2019.
(c) The Violations Scoring Procedure regulations require the Department of Toxic Substances Control to calculate an annual Facility Violations Scoring Procedure Score or Facility VSP Score for a permitted hazardous waste facility by adding the provisional or final inspection violation scores for each compliance inspection conducted during the preceding 10-year period, divided by the number of compliance inspections that occurred during that 10-year period.
(d) A key provision of the Violations Scoring Procedure regulations has resulted in an unexpected and deeply problematic outcome that obscures the impact and magnitude of the harm caused by facilities. The division of the inspection violation scores by the number of inspections results in Facility VSP Scores that do not accurately capture a facility’s compliance history. The Department of Toxic Substances Control’s calculation results in the most harmful facilities having diluted Facility VSP Scores because of their higher number of inspections.
(e) The number of inspections undertaken by the Department of Toxic Substances Control at hazardous waste facilities varies based upon a number of factors and, as a result, in the 10-year period between 2009 and 2019, facilities had as few as one and as many as 26 compliance inspections. This wide variation in the number of inspections makes dividing inspection violation scores by the number of inspections inappropriate.
(f) Compliance tiers used in the Violations Scoring Procedure regulations should be based upon the impact and magnitude of the harm caused by facilities.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 25200.21.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

25200.21.5.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:
(1) “Facility VSP Score” has the same meaning as set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 66271.50 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) “Compliance inspection” has the same meaning as set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 66271.50 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(3) “Compliance tier” means the category into which the department places a hazardous waste facility pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 66271.54 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations as a result of the facility’s Facility VSP Score for purposes of determining whether to issue, renew, modify, deny, or suspend the facility’s hazardous waste facilities permit pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 66271.50) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(b) On or before January 1, 2023, July 1, 2022, the department shall revise its regulations adopted pursuant to Section 25200.21 establishing or updating criteria used to issue, renew, modify, deny, or suspend a hazardous waste facilities permit to do both of the following: for consistency with subdivision (c).
(c) Notwithstanding any regulatory provision adopted by the department pursuant to Section 25200.21, the department shall do both of the following by January 1, 2023:
(1) Calculate the Facility VSP Score of a hazardous waste facility subject to Article 3 (commencing with Section 66271.50) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations for the 2022 calendar year, and annually thereafter, by adding the provisional or final inspection violation scores, as described in Section 66271.53 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, for each compliance inspection conducted during the preceding 10-year period. The department shall not divide the sum of these provisional and final inspection violation scores by the number of compliance inspections that occurred during the preceding 10-year period in calculating the Facility VSP Score.
(2) Assign a hazardous waste facility to a compliance tier based on a Facility VSP Score as follows:
(A) “Acceptable.” A facility that receives a Facility VSP Score of less than 100 shall be designated as having a Facility VSP Score that is acceptable.
(B) “Conditionally Acceptable.” A facility that receives a Facility VSP Score equal to or greater than 100 and less than 250 shall be designated as having a Facility VSP Score that is conditionally acceptable.
(C) “Unacceptable.” A facility that receives a Facility VSP Score equal to or greater than 250 shall be designated as having a Facility VSP Score that is unacceptable.

(c)

(d) The department shall make any other revisions to its regulations adopted pursuant to Section 25200.21 that are necessary to implement for consistency with this section.

(d)

(e) For purposes of this section, all references to Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations refer to those regulations as they existed on January 1, 2021.