toxics

Is Racism Really Behind Top State Toxicologist's Conclusion That Poisoned Communities Are Safe?

Late Friday night, as Barbara Lee, Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), was releasing yet another batch of racist, derogatory, disrespectful, sexist or otherwise insulting emails written by staffers about their own colleagues or the communities they regulate, environmental attorney Anthony Patchett was preparing a missive of his own.

Agency Toxicologist Needs Racist Mouth Washed Out With Soap

In California, low-income minorities overwhelmingly live in the most polluted communities in the state. You would think that the agency mandated to protect them from toxic harm would be sensitive and respectful to these populations, making every effort to apply environmental laws and regulations equally to all. But you would be wrong if you are talking about the scientists tasked with determining whether toxic cleanups are needed.
 

Capitol Watchdog: Meetings to Watch This Week

In this week's meeting, from Nov. 16 - 20, the state's insurance department will be hearing a dispute over a rate increase by State Farm that Consumer Watchdog believes is unfair and overcharging customers by more than $200 million. In addition, the Public Utilities Commission was expected to decide if the Southern California Edison should be financially penalized over alleged improper communications tied to the San Onofre Nuclear power plant decommissioning. 

Will De León Hold Top Regulator Accountable For Cleanup of Boeing's Toxic Site?

When Barbara Lee came up for confirmation as Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control in July, 50 groups begged the California Senate Rules Committee and Senate pro Tem Kevin de León to put off a vote until Lee, who had been in office six months, took action to punish serial hazardous waste polluters, deny them permits, and force them to clean up communities under toxic assault.

The Rules Committee confirmed her anyway, but she got fair warning.

Will Bills Creating Independent Oversight of Dysfunctional Toxics Regulator Survive?

Right now, bills are moving through the state legislature to force our top toxics regulator to decide when hazardous waste polluters lose their permits, and to create internal and external oversight of the scandal-plagued Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
 

Democracy at Work

When the confirmation of California’s top toxics regulator was over, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon addressed the audience, “You saw democracy working..." But was this really democracy at work? 
 
The overwhelming majority of those in the room did not support the confirmation of Ms. Barbara Lee, a former air regulator with no knowledge of hazardous substances from Northern Sonoma County, which has no air pollution problem, as Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control on July 15, 2015. 
 

Capitol Watchdog is owned and operated by nonprofit Consumer Watchdog. For more information about Consumer Watchdog visit http://www.consumerwatchdog.org

 
 

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