(September 9, 2015) A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill that would have shut down hazardous waste facilities and resulted in the export of waste to other states without California’s strict environmental regulations has been put on the Assembly Floor inactive file and is likely dead for the year.
SB 654 (de León; D-Los Angeles) would have shut down a hazardous waste facility for reasons well beyond the permit applicant’s control.
Anyone in California who owns or operates a facility where hazardous waste is treated, stored or disposed is required to obtain a hazardous waste permit. Most California hazardous waste regulations are very similar to federal regulations. In many circumstances, however, the California regulations are more stringent and broader in scope than federal regulations.
SB 654: Shut Down Hazardous Waste Facilities
Specifically, SB 654 would have discouraged investment in upgrading and improving hazardous waste facilities by shutting down hazardous waste facilities if the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) fails to take final action on the permit renewal application within a specified timeframe, even if the permit applicant acted diligently and in good faith throughout the permit application process.
Understanding the importance of keeping hazardous waste in California, hazardous waste permits should be issued in a timely manner and subject to clear and predicable procedures, while also allowing flexibility for the iterative application process to take its course. SB 654 would have undermined that process.
The CalChamber supports treating, storing and disposing of hazardous waste in California where environmental protection protocols are more rigid than in other states. To this end, the CalChamber endorses California’s policy of managing its own hazardous waste and not exporting it to other states or nations, where protocols are either nonexistent or far less stringent.