|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||21 Sep 1998 08:47:18|
|Subject:||California Cleanup Program Threatened|
CALIFORNIA CLEANUP PROGRAM THREATENED The failure of the California legislature to renew state Superfund legislation this session may have more serious consequences than I originally thought. Ambushed by last minute industry opposition to a negotiated compromise bill, the program is due to expire in January. The new legislature and governor - according to the polls, that is most likely to be Democrat Gray Davis - may indeed enact a new law, but unless it is passed early in the new year as "urgency" legislation with a required 2/3 votes, the renewed program will not take effect for some time. Hazardous waste sites - including military bases and other federal facilities - now regulated by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) under the Site Mitigation Program must end up someplace else. Reportedly, lame-duck Republican Governor Pete Wilson is trying to shift the sites to the jurisdiction of the state and regional Water Boards, under the Porter-Cologne Act, instead of the more logical Corrective Action program at DTSC. The water board staffs include many dedicated regulators, but the Governor's unpublicized move would destroy one of the country's most professional environmental regulatory bureaucracies. It would create chaos even if all sites eventually land under active regulation by the water boards. It would diminish public participation - not part of the Porter-Cologne Act. And it would leave unregulated many contamination issues not covered by the groundwater-oriented Act and boards. Wilson reportedly sees dismantling the regulatory bureaucracy as a legacy he wants to leave to history, but he hasn't sought recognition by publicizing it today. Unless the news media, legislature, and activists respond, years of program development will be destroyed in just a few weeks. The cost to public health and the environment could be enormous. Lenny Siegel -- Lenny Siegel Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/968-1126 firstname.lastname@example.org Effective August, 1998, CPEO has adopted its own Internet domain, <cpeo.org>. All of our old E-mail addresses, such as <email@example.com> should continue to work.
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