Cal/EPA Environmental Enforcement Assessment

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 22, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On April 14th, Maureen Gorsen, California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Deputy Secretary for Law Enforcement and Counsel, conducted a briefing on the results of their Environmental Enforcement Assessment.  The effort is being driven by the Governor's Action Plan for the Environment and Terry Tamminen's November 2004 memo on an Enforcement Initiative for Cal/EPA.   

Cal/EPA will make enforcement a focus of the agency as a whole and all Boards, Departments and Offices (BDOs) will work together on enforcement issues.

Cal/EPA will identify and prosecute companies and facilities that are out of compliance.  Companies that have never been evaluated by Cal/EPA and have never followed regulations or permitting processes will be specifically targeted.

The focus will be on criminal prosecutions.  According to the assessment, in the last ten years the agency BDOs have not had a single criminal prosecution.   

AB 1327 (Van Tran, R-Westminster) is to be the vehicle for making the statutory changes needed for implementation of the program.  Right now AB 1327 is a spot bill with no substantial language.  It will be amended in the near future.  The biggest anticipated change is to give all the BDOs the same law enforcement authority (criminal police powers) that at present lies only with DTSC.  

Assemblymember Tran, Gorsen, and Patty Zwarts, Cal/EPA Legislation Director, will be making a presentation to the "Thursday Group" in Sacramento on April 28th.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Mike Rogge .
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