Code Section

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 20. MISCELLANEOUS HEALTH AND SAFETY PROVISIONS [24000 - 26217]

  ( Division 20 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )
  

CHAPTER 6.8. Hazardous Substance Account [25300 - 25395.45]

  ( Chapter 6.8 repealed and added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 23, Sec. 2. )
  

ARTICLE 5. Uses of the State Account [25350 - 25359.7]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 23, Sec. 2. )

  
25356.  

(a)  (1)  The department shall adopt, by regulation, criteria for the selection of hazardous substance release sites for a response action under this chapter. The criteria shall take into account pertinent factors relating to public health, safety and the environment, which shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, potential hazards to public health, safety or the environment, the risk of fire or explosion, and toxic hazards, and shall also include the criteria established pursuant to Section 105(8) of the federal act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9605(8)).

(2)  The criteria adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) may include a minimum hazard threshold, below which sites shall not be listed pursuant to this section, if the sites are subject to the authority of the department to order a response action, or similar action, pursuant to Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100).

(b)  (1)  The department shall publish and revise, at least annually, a listing of the hazardous substance release sites selected for, and subject to, a response action under this chapter. The department shall list the sites based upon the criteria adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) and the extent to which deferral of a response action at a site will result, or is likely to result, in a rapid increase in response costs at the site or in a significant increase in risk to human health or safety or the environment.

(2)  The list of sites established pursuant to this subdivision shall be published by the department and made available to the public or any interested person upon request and without cost. The department shall list sites alphabetically within each priority tier, as specified in subdivision (c), and shall update the list of sites at least annually to reflect new information regarding previously listed sites or the addition of new sites requiring response actions.

(c)  The department shall assign each site listed pursuant to subdivision (b) to one of the following priority tiers for the purpose of informing the public of the relative hazard of listed sites:

(1)  “Priority tier one” shall include any site that the department determines, using the criteria described in subdivision (b), meets any of the following conditions:

(A)  The site may pose a known or probable threat to public health or safety through direct human contact.

(B)  The site may pose a substantial probability of explosion or a fire or a significant risk due to hazardous air emissions.

(C)  The site has a high potential to contaminate or to continue to contaminate groundwater resources that are present or possible future sources of drinking water.

(D)  There is a risk that the costs of a response action will increase rapidly or risks to human health or safety or the environment will increase significantly if response action is deferred.

(2)  “Priority tier two” shall include any site that poses a substantial but less immediate threat to public health or safety or the environment and any site that will require a response action, but presents only a limited and defined threat to human health or safety or the environment. Priority tier two may contain sites previously listed in priority tier one if the department determines that direct threats to human health or safety have been removed and if physical deterioration of the site has been stabilized so that threats to the environment are not significantly increasing.

(d)  Hazardous substance release sites listed by the department pursuant to subdivision (b) are subject to this chapter and all actions carried out in response to hazardous substance releases or threatened releases at listed sites shall comply with the procedures, standards, and other requirements set forth in this chapter or established pursuant to the requirements of this chapter.

(e)  (1)  The adoption of the minimum hazard threshold pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the department’s development and publication of the list of sites pursuant to subdivision (b), and the assignment of sites to a tier pursuant to subdivision (c), including the classification of a site as within a minimum threshold pursuant to subdivision (c), are not subject to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(2)  The adoption of the criteria used by the department pursuant to subdivision (b) to determine the extent to which deferral of a response action at a site will result, or is likely to result, in a rapid increase in response costs at a site or in a significant increase in risk to human health or safety or the environment is subject to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(f)  (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the department shall expend all funds appropriated to the department for any response action pursuant to this chapter, and shall take all response action pursuant to this chapter, in conformance with the assignment of sites to priority tiers pursuant to subdivision (c).

(2)  The department may expend funds appropriated for a response action and take a response action, without conforming to the listing of sites by tier pursuant to subdivision (c), or at a site that has not been listed pursuant to subdivision (b), if any of the following apply:

(A)  The department is monitoring a response action conducted by a responsible party at a site listed pursuant to subdivision (b) or at a site that is not listed but is being voluntarily remediated by a responsible party or another person.

(B)  The expenditure of funds is necessary to pay for the state share of a response action pursuant to Section 104(c)(3) of the federal act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9604(c)(3)).

(C)  The department is assessing, evaluating, and characterizing the nature and extent of a hazardous substance release at a site for which the department has not been able to identify a responsible party, the responsible party is defunct or insolvent, or the responsible party is not in compliance with an order issued, or an enforceable agreement entered into, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 25355.5.

(D)  The department is carrying out activities pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (b) of, or subdivision (c) or (d) of, Section 25355.5.

(3)  The department may, at any one time, expend funds and take a response action at more than one site on the list established pursuant to subdivision (b). In addition, the department may, at any one time, oversee the performance of any activities conducted by a responsible party on more than one site on the list established pursuant to subdivision (b).

(g)  This section does not require the department to characterize every site listed pursuant to subdivision (b) before the department begins response actions at those sites.

(h)  The department, or, if appropriate, the California regional water quality board, is the state agency with sole responsibility for ensuring that required action in response to a hazardous substance release or threatened release at a listed site is carried out in compliance with the procedures, standards, and other requirements set forth in this chapter, and shall, as appropriate, coordinate the involvement of interested or affected agencies in the response action.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 912, Sec. 16. Effective September 29, 2000.)