News Release

T – 6 – 19
Meredith Williams, Acting Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2019

Contact: Abbott Dutton
(916) 324-2997
Abbott.Dutton@dtsc.ca.gov

DTSC Releases Scorecard for California’s 78 Hazardous Waste Facilities

Five Facilities Receive ‘Unacceptable’ Scores for Significant Violations

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control today released its first statewide hazardous waste facility scorecard ranking the 78 operating permitted facilities in California that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste. The provisional scores reflect a facility’s history of compliance with hazardous waste laws and will be used as a factor to approve or deny an operating permit.

“The new Violations Scoring Procedure provides a transparent way to evaluate compliance with California’s hazardous waste laws. It helps us keep the public informed about facilities in their communities; it deters violations; and ultimately it protects communities from environmental harm,” said Meredith Williams, Acting Director of DTSC. “This scoring process is one in a series of progressive steps to systematically improve our permitting process, strengthen permitting regulations, and hold facility operators accountable.”

The Violations Scoring Procedure (VSP) highlights a facility’s most significant compliance issues and repeat hazardous waste law violations over a 10-year period. Depending on the VSP score, DTSC will require facilities to implement enhanced protections or will initiate permit denial, suspension or revocation actions.

The Facility VSP score and compliance tier assignment for each facility will be updated each year to include new inspection results and will reflect the previous 10-year calendar period. The VSP fulfills a mandate in Senate Bill 673 to enhance transparency and consistency in DTSC’s permitting decisions.

To calculate a facility’s score, DTSC reviewed the results of all DTSC inspections over a 10-year period. Each violation was given a numerical value based on its significance and potential for harm to people or the environment.

Types of violations scored include storing hazardous waste in containers in poor condition, storing ignitable hazardous waste within 50 feet of the property line, making false statements on a hazardous waste manifest, storing incompatible wastes together, not managing hazardous waste to reduce the possibility of a fire or release, and improperly labelling containers of hazardous waste.

Based on the VSP score, DTSC assigned facilities to one of three compliance tiers: Acceptable, Conditionally Acceptable and Unacceptable. Acceptable facilities are those with a score of less than 20. Conditionally Acceptable facilities are those with a score from 20 to less than 40. Unacceptable facilities are those with a score of 40 or more.  

Facility VSP ScoreCompliance Tier AssignmentNumber of FacilitiesPermitting Consequences (pursuant to VSP)
Less than 20Acceptable64None
20 to less than 40Conditionally Acceptable9Additional permitting requirements
40 or greaterUnacceptable5DTSC initiates permit denial, suspension, or revocation

The following facilities received an Unacceptable tier assignment: California Oil Transfer in Riverbank; GEM in Rancho Cordova; Hazmat TSDF in San Bernardino County; HGST Inc. in San Jose; and Rho-Chem Corporation in Inglewood. These facilities have the opportunity to dispute their scores. After the dispute process, if the facilities remain in the Unacceptable tier, DTSC will start the process of suspending, revoking, or denying permits for these facilities.

Facilities in the Conditionally Acceptable tier must correct compliance problems and may be subject to additional operating restrictions. Facilities that fall into the Acceptable tier are not subject to additional requirements under the VSP regulations.

DTSC’s VSP score does not assess health and safety issues in other parts of a facility’s operation that are unrelated to the treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste. Hazardous waste facilities are also regulated by other local, state, and federal  agencies for compliance with laws protecting air and water quality and worker safety.  At some facilities – refineries, for example – hazardous waste activities constitute a small portion of the entire operation. 

Facility VSP scores are based on provisional inspection scores and are not yet final. Facilities may dispute any provisional inspection scores within 60 days. Once the dispute is received and reviewed, DTSC’s dispute resolution official will issue a written decision granting or denying, in whole or in part, the facility’s dispute. The dispute resolution official’s decision is final. A provisional inspection violation score becomes final if the facility does not file a dispute within 60 days.

An interactive map showing locations and compliance history for each facility is also available online.

DTSC will hold two informational webinars – one in the daytime and one in the evening – to explain the VSP scores to interested groups and answer any questions.

DTSC protects California’s people and environment by regulating the generation, storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste.

To view permitted facilities and their scores and to find out more about the VSP process, go to the Violations Scoring Procedure page.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. 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.