DTSC is seeking to codify the authority to apply the strictest of three available criteria to determine the cleanup requirements for hazardous waste sites. The agency wants to have the discretion to ensure that it can apply the strictest environmental standards. However, these regulations may cause significant issues for cities that seek to rehabilitate and develop contaminated sites. The League has submitted comments
outlining the concern that the proposed regulations will reduce the flexibility of cities to redevelop brownfield sites.
While DTSC certainly has the responsibility to ensure cleanup standards are sufficiently protective of human health and the environment, these proposed regulations would remove the ability for site-specific considerations. Higher toxicity standards would make an already strict regulatory standard even more difficult to meet and could have serious impacts on cities trying to redevelop brownfield sites. These could lead to increased costs, further delays, decreased property values for the site and surrounding area.
The League’s position states that the level of cleanup for a project should be based on the specific proposal. For example, a parking garage project does not need the same level of environmental scrutiny as a residential development site. If standards are too stringent, it could stifle community revitalization efforts and economic development.
DTSC has solicited comments from the public and stakeholders and is now in the process of formally issuing a draft regulation. The League will continue to monitor this issue and provide feedback on proposed regulations.
If your city has questions, please contact Nicholas Romo