Environmental Recommendations (Volume IV, Chapter 5)

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Oct. 8, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The CPR found that the current organization of Cal-EPA has four key problems:

1. Lack of accountability;
2. Environmental decisions do not reflect an integrated understanding of different types of pollution;
3. Overlap in jurisdictional functions within Cal-EPA; and
4. Environmental programs are dispersed throughout government.

The proposed restructuring would eliminate state and regional boards and commissions in favor of a more structured organization accountable to the Secretary of Cal-EPA.

Comment: CMTA favors streamlining government, improving efficiency and responsiveness and eliminating duplication. However, it is also very important to manufacturers that all regulatory environmental decisions are based on sound science. Therefore, we value the ability to make sound science arguments before high level decision makers, particularly in instances where staff may have limited expertise or global exposure.

With this in mind, we agree with the restructuring recommendations in the environmental arena with the following two exceptions:

1.) We believe that the State Water and Air Boards both serve a vital need as a forum for manufacturers and others to provide input into the regulatory process. They also provide for stability and historical memory from one administration to another, since board members are generally retained until their terms expire. If a decision is made to eliminate these two boards, an appeals process needs to be developed to allow public input and review of department actions.

2.) We believe that the interests of the public and manufacturers are best served by leaving the Radiological Health Branch within the Department of Health Services (DHS) rather than transfer that function to the proposed new Division of Pollution Prevention, Recycling and Waste Management. DHS appropriately considers radiological contamination from a public health perspective. Cal-EPA jurisdiction is to protect the environment from pollution, which is not generally the nature of radiological problems.
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