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CAL/EPA ORDERS NEW DIRECTIONS FOR THE STATE TOXICS PROGRAM

 CAL/EPA ORDERS NEW DIRECTIONS FOR THE STATE TOXICS PROGRAM
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary for Environmental Protection James M. Strock today announced his intent to seek fundamental changes to the programs of the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
 "The toxics program has built a strong foundation, but now must meet the challenge of change," said Strock speaking in response to a newly completed external 90-day program review of the department which he had requested.
 The proposed new directions for the department would implement many of the recommendations of the External Program Review Committee and intend to institute fundamental changes in the department's regulatory oversight functions. The new directions will emphasize risk-based priority setting and increased program efficiency. The result should be a toxics department better able to protect public health and the environment. This overall effort is intended to achieve improvement in the following specific areas:
 -- processing of hazardous waste facility permit application and
 closure plans;
 -- directing resources to industry requesting compliance or
 permit assistance;
 -- integrated enforcement efforts aimed at bringing hazardous
 waste facilities in compliance with the law;
 -- better oversight of hazardous substance release site cleanups
 utilizing government and state certified private experts;
 -- the mitigation of hazardous substance release sites utilizing
 both private and public funds;
 -- more effective recovery of costs the department has incurred
 in the past to clean up hazardous waste sites; and
 -- establishing a program funding structure that will provide
 adequate resources to effectively manage hazardous waste
 practices in California in a manner that is protective of
 public health and the environment.
 The External Program Review was conducted from October through December 1991. Due to the broad scope of the review, Secretary Strock created nine task forces and a Review Committee. The review participants represented business, public interest organizations, environmental groups, the Legislature and local government. While the diverse nature of the reviewing groups precluded consensus in some areas, the various viewpoints provided the Department with useful data for decision making. The task forces reviewed: 1) Waste Classification, Treatment Standards, and Capacity Assurance; 2) Pollution Prevention; 3) Hazardous Waste Regulatory Programs; 4) State Site Cleanup; 5) Site Cleanup/U.S. EPA Interface; 6) Hazardous Materials Emergency Release; 7) Interagency Coordination/Relations; 8) Program Funding; and 9) Internal Organization Issues. The report from this review, "Report of the 90 Day External Program Review of California's Toxic Substances Control Program," was released Dec. 27, 1991.
 With today's announcement the Department of Toxic Substances Control has released its analysis of the Program Review report, "New Directions for the 1990's: the Department of Toxic Substances Control's Plans for Responding to the Report of the 90 Day External Program Review." In addition, the Department has released specific responses to the detailed recommendations and issues raised by the Program Review. This document is entitled "The Department of Toxic Substances Control's Response to the Report of the 90 Day External Program Review." It addresses both the report of the Program Review Committee and the reports of the nine individual task forces.
 Copies of the department's analysis and response are available to interested parties by contacting 916-324-1826 or writing the Office of the Director, Attn: Response to the 90 Day Review, Department of Toxic Substances Control, P.O. Box 806, Sacramento, Calif. 95812-0806.
 -0- 4/6/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Borzelleri of Cal/EPA, 916-324-9670; or Bob Hoffman of DTSC, 916-324-1084/ CO: Cal/EPA ST: California IN: SU:


RM -- SF008 -- 5611 04/06/92 18:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 6, 1992
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