News Release

T – 11 – 14
Deborah O. Raphael, Director

May 21, 2014

Contact: Russ Edmondson
(916) 323-3372

DTSC Finalizes Permit Modification for Kettleman Hills
Hazardous Waste Facility

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) today finalized a permit modification for the Chemical Waste Management, Inc., Kettleman Hills hazardous waste facility. This modification increases the hazardous waste landfill’s capacity by about five million cubic yards, while strengthening environmental safeguards and reporting and public information requirements. The facility is currently operating near capacity.

“This decision protects public health and provides California with a safe disposal facility,” said DTSC’s Director Debbie Raphael. “We conducted a comprehensive review of the permit application and the facility’s history. We considered a tremendous amount of public input and ensured all needed safeguards are in place. We have looked at this permit application from every angle over a five-year period to ensure it is the right decision.”

DTSC’s review included the findings of multiple health studies, air and groundwater monitoring data and the facility’s compliance and enforcement records. The process included an extensive public comment period, which DTSC extended at the request of community members. Public involvement also included 23 public meetings and interview sessions with people in communities closest to the facility, which is located about three and a half miles from Kettleman City. DTSC reviewed and considered more than 5,500 comments submitted during the public comment period.

Public involvement played a key role in the final permit conditions. As a result, the permit modification includes extensive and stringent conditions that protect public health and the environment:

  • Increased monitoring for PCBs that detects very low concentrations in air
  • Enhanced air monitoring for all other contaminants from the facility’s operations
  • Expanded sampling and analysis of liquids captured by the landfill’s subsurface collection system
  • Required that trucks using the facility meet stricter diesel-emission standards
  • Required a containment system to control spills
  • Required annual aerial and land surveys to verify Chemical Waste Management Inc.’s estimates of remaining landfill capacity
  • Increased inspections 

View more information about the decision, including the modified permit, DTSC’s official Response to Comments, which addresses comments received during the Public Comment Period and details on the appeals process.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.