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California’s Toxic Waste Control Department Tries to Clean Itself Up

Aired 11/4/13 on KPBS News.

The California agency responsible for dealing with toxic waste in the state is trying to clean up its own act.

The California agency responsible for dealing with toxic waste in the state is trying to clean up its own act. The Department of Toxic Substances Control recently commissioned a report on its permitting process for facilities that deal with toxic waste in potentially risky ways.

The report found lengthy permitting delays, confusion over the process and an inadequate staff. DTSC Deputy Director Brian Johnson said consistency has been a problem for the permitting division.

“It really is not an unexpectable outcome of how the group had been managed in the past, where they did not have a traditional management structure in place," Johnson said. "They were more a set of teams."

Johnson said a more traditional management structure is being put together. Critics of the agency said divisions within the department do not communicate effectively.

Californians produce two million tons of hazardous waste each year.

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