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AB-480 Hazardous substances.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/30/2021 09:00 PM
AB480:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 30, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 480


Introduced by Assembly Member Carrillo

February 08, 2021


An act to amend Section 25510 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to hazardous substances.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 480, as amended, Carrillo. Hazardous substances.
(1) Existing law requires the Secretary for Environmental Protection to implement a unified hazardous waste and hazardous materials management regulatory program, known as the unified program. Existing law requires every county to apply to the secretary to be certified to implement the unified program, and authorizes a city or local agency that meets specified requirements to apply to the secretary to be certified to implement the unified program, as a certified unified program agency, or CUPA. Existing law authorizes a state or local agency that has a written agreement with a CUPA, and is approved by the secretary, to implement or enforce one or more of the unified program elements as a participating agency. Existing law defines “unified program agency,” or UPA, to mean the CUPA or its participating agencies, as provided.
Existing law requires a business that handles a hazardous material, or an employee, authorized representative, agent, or designee of that business, to, upon discovery, immediately report any release or threatened release of a hazardous material, or an actual release of a hazardous substance, as defined, to the UPA and the Office of Emergency Services, as provided.
This bill would require that reporting of the release or threatened release to the UPA and the Office of Emergency Services, as provided. The bill would require a handler, employee, authorized representative, agent, or their designee to provide state, city, or county fire or public health or safety personnel and emergency response personnel with access to the handler’s facility if there is a release or threatened release at the facility.
(2) Under existing law, whenever a release, spill, escape, or entry of waste occurs, as specified, and the Director of Public Health or the local health officer makes specified determinations as to that waste, the director is authorized to declare a health emergency and the local health officer is authorized to declare a local health emergency in the jurisdiction or any area thereof affected by the threat to the public health.
This bill would authorize, without a declaration of a local health emergency, the UPA, if a release, spill, escape, or entry, as described, of hazardous waste or of a hazardous substance occurs, which the UPA, in consultation with the local health officer, reasonably determines poses an imminent or and substantial endangerment to public health due to specified factors, to take specified actions to protect the health and safety of the public, including, among others, issuing an order to the responsible party to immediately suspend or discontinue the activity causing or contributing to the release, spill, escape, or entry of the hazardous waste or hazardous substance. The bill would require that actions taken by the UPA to protect or preserve the public health be supported by written findings. The bill would require that a responsible party be given an opportunity to appeal the order.
(3) Because the bill would make changes to provisions enforced by unified program agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 25510 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

25510.
 (a)  (1)  Except as provided in subdivision (b), a hazardous material, hazardous waste, or hazardous substance release or threatened release shall be reported by the handler, an employee, authorized representative, agent, or designee of the handler to the UPA, and to the office, in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to this section, as follows:
(A) For facilities subject to this chapter, upon discovery of any release or threatened release. The reporting shall be made immediately upon discovery.
(B) (i) For facilities not subject to this chapter, upon the discovery of an actual release, as described in Section 374.8 of the Penal Code, that results in an emergency response.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, “emergency response” means the activation of any public emergency response personnel, as defined in Section 25501, who are responsible for response, mitigation, or recovery activities in a hazardous material incident where public health, public safety, or the environment may be affected.
(2) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the handler, an employee, authorized representative, agent, or designee of those entities, entities shall provide state, city, or county fire or public health or safety personnel and emergency response personnel with access to the handler’s facility if there is a release or threatened release of hazardous material, hazardous waste, or a hazardous substance.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a person engaged in the transportation of a hazardous material on a highway that is subject to, and in compliance with, the requirements of Sections 2453 and 23112.5 of the Vehicle Code.
(c) On or before January 1, 2016, the office shall adopt regulations to implement this section. In developing these regulations, the office shall closely consult with representatives from regulated entities, appropriate trade associations, fire service organizations, federal, state, and local organizations, including unified program agencies, and other interested parties.
(d) The UPA shall maintain one or more nonemergency contact numbers for release reports that do not require immediate agency response. The UPA shall promptly communicate changes to this information to regulated facilities and to the office.
(e) Notwithstanding other law, if a release, spill, escape, or entry, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 101075, of hazardous waste, as defined in Section 101075, or a hazardous substance, as defined in Section 25316, occurs and the UPA, in consultation with the local health officer, reasonably determines that the release, spill, escape, or entry poses an imminent or and substantial endangerment to public health, due to factors including, but not limited to, carcinogenicity, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, bioaccumulative properties, or persistence in the air or environment, the UPA may take the following actions to protect the health and safety of the public:
(1) Issue an order to the responsible party to immediately suspend or discontinue the activity causing or contributing to the release, spill, escape, or entry of the hazardous waste or hazardous substance. The order shall remain in effect until the UPA determines that the imminent or and substantial endangerment to public health has been abated.
(2) Take Coordinate with other appropriate regulatory agencies that may take any other action necessary to protect the public health, including, but not limited to, environmental investigations and temporary relief to, or relocation of, affected individuals.

(3)

(f) An action taken by the UPA under this section shall be supported by written findings findings, including evidence of local health officer consultation, and be consistent with criteria developed by UPAs to determine whether an imminent or and substantial endangerment to public health has occurred.

(f)Providing residential assistance and reimbursement for local health officer expenses shall not relieve a responsible party from liability for damages, and any responsible party shall not condition assistance on, or request, a waiver of liability from a recipient of assistance.

(g) The responsible party shall be provided with an opportunity to appeal an order issued pursuant to this section.

SEC. 2.

  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.