DTSC News Feed

2018

 

DTSC News Feed is a weekly email that pulls together short updates and internet links to keep you informed about the latest accomplishments and news highlights at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
 

2019

 

FEbRUARY 20, 2019

 

FEbRUARY 4, 2019

  • A DTSC enforcement action has resulted in $495,000 in penalties for illegal storage and treatment of hazardous waste.
  • Here is the agenda for the Department of Toxic Substances Control webinar on Alternatives Analysis, an important step in the Safer Consumer Products program. The webinar will be held 9 to 11:45 a.m. on February 7. 
  • DTSC has posted the criteria for permitting Hazardous Waste Facilities. Find out about the Hazardous Waste Management System here.
 

JANUARY 24, 2019

  • Here is the agenda for the Department of Toxic Substances Control Regional Update to be held 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, January 29 in Oakland. All are welcome to the auditorium of the Elihu M. Harris State Office Building, 1515 Clay Street.
  • DTSC has updated our Site Mitigation and Restoration Program Brownfields web page for voluntary agreements. Take a look at the new clickable process flow chart and our Quick Reference Guides to learn how we are working to support the reuse and redevelopment of blighted land in California.
  • The transcripts from September's Green Ribbon Science Panel are available. The panel met on September 13 and September 14 to advise DTSC on a variety of scientific and technical matters related to developing green chemistry and chemical policy recommendations and implementation strategies.
 

JANUARY 17, 2019

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control has special programs to help investigate and clean up environmentally impacted properties, also known as Brownfields. These programs are supported by grants from the U.S. EPA.
  • DTSC has adopted regulations that will strengthen protections for public health and the environment at hazardous waste facilities and increase DTSC’s transparency and accountability. The new regulations will impose stronger financial assurance requirements to ensure adequate and timely cleanup of contaminated facilities and conserve taxpayer funds.  
  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products Program is proposing a new regulation: Listing paint and varnish strippers and graffiti removers containing N-Methylpyrrolidone as a Priority Product.
 

JANUARY 7, 2019

  • Communities wanting assistance in assessing and cleaning up brownfields and preparing them for redevelopment might be eligible for a U.S. EPA grant or loan. Department of Toxic Substances Control is here to help. Information on U.S. EPA brownfields grants is available at U.S. EPA's Brownfields Grants page. The application deadline is January 31, 2019. But, in order to develop a complete proposal package, the U.S. EPA requires a letter of acknowledgement from DTSC, and the deadline to apply for this is January 7, 2019.  
  • DTSC cleanup efforts after the Camp Fire were featured on NBC News: New concerns about toxic waste after wildfires tore through California communities. 
  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products program has determined that there is potential for significant adverse health effects, including cancer and death, resulting from exposure to paint or varnish strippers containing methylene chloride. DTSC on Jan. 1, 2019, will list paint or varnish strippers containing methylene chloride as a priority product.
 


 

2018

 

DECEMBER 19, 2018

  • Track progress of the wildfire cleanup efforts with the Department of Toxic Substances Control's maps of the Camp, Hill and Woolsey wildfires. They provide critical information to crews on the ground and to the public. 
  • Learn more about a recent evaluation into the risk of breast cancer associated with serum levels of several PFASs among participants of a large case-control study.
  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control announced that it has ordered Quemetco Inc. to conduct additional sampling in residential areas around its battery recycling facility in the City of Industry. DTSC has also ordered the facility to remove contaminated soil in the industrial areas immediately outside the facility where sampling found high levels of lead.
  • Grant support for petroleum sites is provided by DTSC to help EPA grant applicants and recipients access federal brownfields funding for petroleum-contaminated sites. Those who meet the guidelines can fill out an application.


 

DECEMBER 12, 2018

  • Department of Toxic Substances Control Emergency Response staff on December 3 began working to remove Household Hazardous Waste from properties damaged or destroyed by the Woolsey and Hill fires in Southern California.
  • The Chico Enterprise-Record went out one day with DTSC crews to document the removal of Household Hazardous Waste in the Camp Fire in Northern California, and Bloomberg Environment also wrote about cleanups in Northern and Southern California.
  • Last year, DTSC filed a complaint against Fireclay in Aromas for its handling of hazardous waste and implementation of regulations outlined in hazardous waste laws and Health and Safety Code. A settlement was reached in November.


 

NOVEMBER 7, 2018

  • The video from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control's Oct. 3 Quarterly Meeting in Los Angeles is available for review. The next quarterly meeting will be in January, details to come.
  • DTSC announced newly adopted regulations for permitting hazardous waste facilities. The rules, which take effect on January 1, 2019, are designed to strengthen protections for public health and the environment and to increase DTSC’s transparency and accountability. 
  • DTSC issued a press release announcing it has filed a civil complaint against the Quemetco battery recycling facility, located in the City of Industry, for 29 alleged violations of the California Hazardous Waste Control Law.


 

OCTOBER 31, 2018

  • The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has added a second contractor – Parsons Environment & Infrastructure Group Inc. – to clean up lead-contaminated properties surrounding the now-closed Exide Technologies battery recycling facility in Vernon, California. With the addition of Parsons, DTSC now has two contractors working on the Exide cleanup. Parsons will remediate up to 1,610 properties in addition to the ongoing work by NEC Construction Inc., whose April 2018 contract was expanded last month to include more properties and a broader geographic area. 
  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products Program is among the sponsors of  the Second International Symposium on Alternatives Assessment: “Building the Field,” scheduled for Nov. 1-2 in Sacramento. The symposium will bring together governmental agency professionals, university researchers, industry sustainability professionals, environmental health consultants and advocates to discuss methods and practical approaches that advance the field of alternatives assessment and informed substitution. Here is the agenda.
  • A Department of Toxic Substances Control enforcement action against a hazardous waste facility in Rancho Cordova has resulted in $1.4 million in penalties against the facility’s operator for violations of California’s hazardous waste laws. Among the violations was a fire at the facility in 2017, caused when employees intentionally ignited hazardous waste that contained naphthalene, which is made from crude oil or coal tar. There were also two earlier fires and an explosion at the facility. 
  • DTSC recently held three workshops regarding new rules impacting hazardous waste facilities and communities near them. Here are some notes from our SB 673 Community Workshop


 

OCTOBER 10, 2018

  • Join The Department of Toxic Substances Control in Los Angeles, Lamont and Oakland on October 22, 24 and 25 for community workshops to discuss draft regulatory concepts to implement SB 673, which strengthens the hazardous waste facility permitting process. Learn about DTSC's efforts to address community concerns through hazardous waste permitting process. Each evening begins at 6 with a gathering and interactive display (snacks are provided), and continues from 6:30 to 8:30 with a community conversation..
  • DTSC held its October Quarterly Meeting at the Port of Los Angeles on Oct. 3, offering presentations on Toxicity Criteria for Human health Risk Assessment Screening Levels and Remediation, Environmental Justice Initiative's Metal-containing Jewelry Enforcement, the California-Mexico Border Program, and Other Opportunities to Engage with DTSC. 
  • Anyone who generates, transports, offers for transport, treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste should take the time to verify their information on record is correct. Here's a link to DTSC's Annual EPA ID Number Verification Questionnaire.


 

SEPTEMBER 26, 2018

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control's Human and Ecological Risk Office (HERO) has released the 10th quarterly update. Find the document here.
  • DTSC's Safer Products and Workplaces Program recently hosted the Green Ribbon Science Panel public workshop. Among the presentations were the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report Template and Carpets with PFAS: Chemical Class Approach
  • DTSC Emergency Response has completed its assessment/cleanup of Household Hazardous Waste in Mendocino and Lake counties. Our map shows the scope of the project and number of impacted properties. 


 

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

  • DTSC began Household Hazardous Waste cleanup activities in fire-devastated areas of Lake County on Monday. Track the project's progress on the Mendocino Complex Fire Public Dashboard
  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products program challenges responsible entities to reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals in consumer products. Here is a guide to the Alternatives Analysis that is required when DTSC names a Priority Product.
  • DTSC's new Southern California Environmental Chemistry Laboratory is featured in the Association of Public Health Laboratories’ most recent newsletter "Bridges." The new facility in Pasadena replaces the 30-year-old laboratory that had been in downtown Los Angeles. The new 13,000 square-foot facility houses state-of-the-art analytical instruments and equipment. Read more about the laboratory in the newsletter.


 

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control will hold a public workshop to discuss the Draft Product-Chemical Profile for Paint and Varnish Strippers and Graffiti Removers Containing 1-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) on Sept. 18. Here is the agenda
  • DTSC is continuing the cleanup of Household Hazardous Waste at hundreds of properties that were impacted by the Carr Fire in Shasta County. .
  • The Green Ribbon Science Panel will hold a public meeting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, in the CalEPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento. The GRSP provides scientific and technical advice to DTSC's Safer Consumer Products program. The public is invited to the meetings in the Klamath Room on the second floor.


 

AUGUST 23, 2018

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control is clearing household hazardous waste from the Carr Fire that destroyed more than 1,600 structures in Redding and other parts of Shasta County. The Sacramento Bee was one of several media outlets that showed DTSC's crews helping those who lost homes in the fire.
  • HBO sent a crew to cover DTSC's fire-relief efforts in Redding and Shasta County. Get updates on DTSC’s Carr Fire cleanup efforts in Redding and Shasta County.
  • DTSC has begun cleanup of the Lane Metal Finishers site in Oakland. The site, located in a densely populated area, has been home to fuel and vehicle storage, metal plating and other industrial uses. DTSC is overseeing the cleanup of contaminants in the soil, soil vapor, and groundwater.


 

AUGUST 16, 2018

  • Get updates on the Department of Toxic Substances Control cleanup efforts on the Carr Fire in and around Redding. A public dashboard shows the total number of parcels impacted, the number of parcels assessed to date, and the number of parcels assessed each day. 
  • DTSC has also removed household hazardous waste on the Pawnee Fire and the Klamathon Fire.
  • The Santa Clarita Valley Signal showed its readers how to use DTSC's Envirostor database to follow a local cleanup. Envirostor contains thousands of documents useful for following actions at sites across the state.
  • DTSC's Office of Criminal Investigation aided the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office in investigating the possible violations of the Hazardous Waste Control Law at numerous illegal cannabis cultivation sites last month.


 

AUGUST 2, 2018

  • Kern Community College District is teaming with DTSC to offer a course on hazardous waste at a California Compliance School.  
  • One of DTSC's functions is to ensure compliance of environmental laws. Here's a story showing how a DTSC enforcement action against a Fontana metal recycler resulted in a $170,000 settlement.
  • DTSC has published guidelines for Healthy Nail Salon Recognition programs. The San Francisco Department of the Environment lists nail salons that it recognizes as Healthy Nail Salons
  • What does it take to turn a former lumber mill into a public park with a Coastal Trail, and why does it take more than a decade and many millions of dollars to do it? Los Angeles Public TV station KCET takes a look at the the cleanup of the former Georgia Pacific lumber mill in Fort Bragg, overseen by 
    DTSC. 


 

JuLY 19, 2018

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control has required Torrance Refining Co. to pay $150,000 in penalties for illegally storing hazardous waste at its oil refinery in Torrance. The Los Angeles-based company will face additional penalties unless it meets deadlines for recycling or disposing of the hazardous waste.
  • DTSC is overseeing a project to turn a former metal-plating facility into a community park in Los Angeles.  The target date for the park’s completion is December 2019.
  • Get a birds-eye view of the ongoing construction at Argonaut Mine in Jackson. DTSC is retrofitting the dilapidated dam, which holds back more than 165,000 cubic yards of hazardous levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury. 
  • On June 18, DTSC released its latest report on testing for lead in drinking water plumbing products sold in California. 


 

June 14, 2018

  • The "Most Innovative Team" at RevTechX, a conference that drew together dozens of state and local boards, departments and offices as well as high-tech vendors, went to DTSC. To find out about some of the recent technological advances, and how they are used to protect the people and environment of California, read the success story.
  • A project to retrofit the dilapidated Argonaut Mine Dam is underway, the latest phase in the Department of Toxic Substances Control's plan to protect the Jackson community from contamination resulting from past operation of the historical mining site. A press release was issued June 5.
  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control is preparing for two upcoming workshops to discuss a proposed framework for a program to investigate and clean up properties potentially contaminated by operations of lead-acid battery recycling facilities throughout California. In Spanish.

 

May 24, 2018

  • DTSC presented a report to the state Legislature on its Lead-Acid Battery Cleanup Fund Program. The program will identify sites where pollution from recycling or storage of lead-acid batteries has affected surrounding areas. The report details how DTSC will clean up lead contamination from these operations.
  • Knowledge is power, and DTSC's EnviroStor helps empower communities, businesses, and consumers with knowledge they can use to keep informed about hazardous waste issues affecting them. That builds confidence in DTSC's commitment to protect California's people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances. Here's how to access EnviroStor.
  • DTSC was among the agencies who cleared hazards from the Southern California fires last fall. The final debris cleanup was just announced. Here is a story that shows the collaboration between DTSC and other state agencies to help people recover from the devastation.

May 10, 2018

  • DTSC has released guidelines for local jurisdictions in California to offer a voluntary a Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program. The goal of the program is to optimize the safety of workers, who often toil long hours and can be exposed to nail products that may contain toxic chemicals. Here is a link to the Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program.
  • Two women at DTSC have received national recognition for their work in environmental health. DTSC Assistant Director for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs Ana Mascareñas and Senior Environmental Scientist Simona Bălan are among 20 Pioneers under 40 in Public Health are being honored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment..
  • A grant from DTSC's Site Mitigation and Restoration Program has helped a community turn a former nursery into a nursery school for its children..

May 3, 2018

  • DTSC announced that contractor NEC Inc. will accelerate its cleanup of lead-contaminated properties in the area surrounding the now-closed Exide Technologies battery recycling facility in Vernon. DTSC is preparing to award a larger cleanup contract for the area. National Engineering and Consulting Group Inc. (NEC) is already conducting targeted cleanups of properties with the highest lead levels and greatest risk of exposure to sensitive populations.
  • An early Earth Day celebration brought lots of children to the CalEPA building on Wednesday, April 18, where DTSC joined CalEPA with displays about the cool science involved with keeping Californians, and the state's environment, safe. Here's a video on Facebook and on Twitter on how DTSC tests jewelry for lead and other toxins.
  • DTSC teamed with the Attorney General's Office in an investigation of a Los Angeles-based jewelry distributor that had been selling lead- and cadmium-tainted jewelry, saying it was safe. Luxy Accessory Inc. was fined $1.6 million for repeatedly selling the tainted jewelry, some of it intended for use by children.

 

April 5, 2018

  • The California Department of Toxic Substances Control's Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Program held an Alternatives Analysis Webinar last month, the first of a series of webinars aimed at expanding the toolkit available to responsible entities when conducting Alternatives Analysis. The Alternatives Analysis is required if a product is determined to be a Priority Product. The presentation provided an example of how expert practitioners have conducted analyses monetizing chemical impacts to human health. Dr. Ali Kamal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) presented an example of monetizing the health impacts of select air pollutants. Look for more webinars to aid manufacturers of Priority Products conduct Alternatives Analyses.
  • DTSC has a new special assistant for program review. Christie Bautista, who has served as a senior environmental scientist supervisor since 2013 and an environmental scientist from 2006-2013, will assist the department with performance management and program review, which includes strategic planning. She was appointed March 26 by Gov. Jerry Brown.
  • A DTSC enforcement action has led to two Supplemental Environmental Projects in San Diego County, one of which will help homes near shipbuilding sites get lead assessment and remediation.

 

March 22, 2018

  • Attention unlicensed vehicle dismantlers: DTSC is part of an interagency strike team mobilizing to take you down. A success story chronicles these efforts. A web page explains DTSC's role in this effort to protect the people and environment of California.
  • DTSC is among the state agencies working on a collaborative youth engagement program with students of the Brawley Union High School District. Together with local teacher Jose Flores, staff at the Department of Toxic Substances Control, CalRecycle, California Air Resources Board (CARB), and CalEPA provided an adventure weekend for the students last month that promoted environmental education and professional development by connecting students with local leaders and government staff. Students also learned about DTSC's Site Mitigation and Restoration program. Read more here.
  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products Program held a public workshop on the Draft 2018-2020 priority Product Work Plan on Feb. 26. If you missed it, view it here.
  • Come join DTSC for its first quarterly meeting of 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon March 29 in the Sierra Room in the Cal EPA Building, 1001 I St., Sacramento. The public is invited to make comments after each agenda item. It will also be webcast and public comments will be accepted via email at dtscpublicmeeting@dtsc.ca.gov. Register here.Español.


March 8, 2018

  • The Torrance Refining Co. was ordered to remove or recycle large amounts of hazardous waste the company illegally stored in bins by DTSC, which issued a press release on the enforcement action. Some media coverage appeared in the Torrance Daily Breeze.
  • DTSC made available interactive maps and data tables showing the relative lead levels in sampled parcels within 1.7 miles of the former Exide, Inc., battery recycling facility in Vernon. A press release explained how DTSC is working to clean up thousands of properties contaminated with lead from the Exide facility and led people to the maps and tables, where they will see how to understand the data.
  • The Green Ribbon Science Panel, which advises DTSC's Safer Consumer Projects Program, recently wrapped up two days of meetings. View the Feb. 12-13 meetings on You Tube. Day 1. Day 2.
  • DTSC is among the state agencies working on a collaborative youth engagement program with students of the Brawley Union High School District. Together with local teacher Jose Flores, staff at the Department of Toxic Substances Control, CalRecycle, California Air Resources Board (CARB), and CalEPA provided an adventure weekend for the students last month that promoted environmental education and professional development by connecting students with local leaders and government staff. Students also learned about DTSC's Site Mitigation and Restoration program.


March 1, 2018

  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products Program held a workshop Feb. 26 to hear public comment on the Draft 2018-2020 Priority Product Work Plan. A final work plan is expected to be released in the spring.
  • DTSC announced arrests of four former employees and one current employee of the Panoche Water District in Firebaugh after a year-long investigation. The five individuals were charged in a felony complaint that included unlawful disposal and transportation of hazardous waste, embezzlement and conspiracy to misappropriate public funds. Several news outlets ran stories on the investigation, including Capital Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times.
  • DTSC's Safer Consumer Products Program is holding an SCP Alternatives Analysis Webinar on March 5, 2018. This will be the first of a series of webinars aimed at expanding the toolkit available to responsible entities when conducting Alternatives Analysis. The goal of this presentation is to provide an example of how expert practitioners have conducted analyses monetizing chemical impacts to human health. In this webinar, Dr. Ali Kamal of US Environmental Protection Agency will present an example of monetizing the health impacts of select air pollutants. To sign up for the webinar, click here.

 

February 15, 2018

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control has removed household hazardous waste from 802 properties devastated in the October 2017 Northern California wildfires, allowing residents to return home to rebuild their lives. Emergency Response Program crews provide a crucial first step in such disasters to make the areas safe once again. Read our Success Story for more on what we've done.
  • DTSC's Green Ribbon Science Panel on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, concluded two days of public hearings on the Safer Consumer Products program's Draft Three Year Priority Product Work Plan for 2018-2020. DTSC will hold a public workshop on the work plan from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 26, 2018, in the Sierra Room in the CalEPA Building, 1001 I St., Sacramento. Public comments are being accepted through March 9, 2018.


February 1, 2018

  • Please join us for a public meeting 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 8, 2018, in the Del Rio Branch Library Community Room, 1501 I St. in Brawley to discuss the draft remedial action plan involving the 11.66 acres of land formerly occupied by PureGro now owned by Chevron. View the latest update here.
  • DTSC has completed an extensive analysis of metal shredding facilities, and their processes, wastes, and potential impacts on human health and the environment. DTSC will be accepting comments on the draft report through February 28, 2018. See the draft report here. Email comments to: mswstakeholders@dtsc.ca.gov.
  • Consider joining us for the upcoming public meeting of the Green Ribbon Science Panel from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 12 and 13, 2018, in Sacramento, California. The public is invited to attend in the Klamath Room on the second floor of the Cal EPA Building, 1001 I St., Sacramento, to address the panel on agenda items. View the agenda and information about the Green Ribbon Science Panel.
  • The DTSC's Safer Consumer Products Program is holding an SCP Alternatives Analysis Webinar on March 5, 2018. This will be the first of a series of webinars aimed at expanding the toolkit available to responsible entities when conducting Alternatives Analysis. The goal of this presentation is to provide an example of how expert practitioners have conducted analyses monetizing chemical impacts to human health. In this webinar, Dr. Ali Kamal of US Environmental Protection Agency will present an example of monetizing the health impacts of select air pollutants.

 

January 25, 2018

  • DTSC Emergency Response Teams have been in Ventura County to help clean up household hazardous waste after the Thomas Fire damaged and destroyed homes and properties. DTSC offers real-time data of when it completes work at each parcel impacted by the fire.
  • Just months after helping Northern California communities recover from wildfires, DTSC Emergency Response Team crews are in Southern California removing household hazardous waste left behind in Thomas Fire Check out this video of crews at work.
  • A reader of the VC Star newspaper noticed the work by DTSC crews cleaning up after the Thomas Fire and wrote to thank DTSC for keeping Californians safe.
  • Nabil Yacoub, a senior environmental scientist, spoke Jan. 24, 2018, at the California Resource Management Association's first dinner meeting of the year. Yacoub is an expert in hazardous waste management. DTSC wants to help people properly handle and dispose of household hazardous waste.
  • A DTSC investigation found a jewelry distributor was selling jewelry, some of it for children, tainted with lead and cadmium. DTSC had filed a civil complaint filed by the Attorney General's office. Because of this investigation, the tainted jewelry was confiscated and kept out of the hands of Californians.

 

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