California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Enforcement Advisory Council Meeting

Minutes: February 8, 2011

CalEPA Building
1001 I Street
Sacramento, California

Meeting called to order 9:30 a.m.

I. Introductions

Joe Doser, Chair CCLHO (Health Officers)
Greg Pirie, Vice-Chair, Bay Area Roundtable
Lars Seifert, Vice-Chair, Southern Roundtable
Pete Oda Representing South Western Roundtable
Jacquie Adams, Southern Cities
Marina Winslow, Northern Roundtable
Lisa Todd, North Central Roundtable
Brian Pitts, CCDEH
Dennis Ferrier, Northern Cities, Absent
Bill O’Rullian, South Central Roundtable
Vacant Position, Contract Counties
Vacant Position, CalRecycle EA
Mark Leary, CalRecycle
Ted Rauh, CalRecycle
Mark de Bie, CalRecycle
Bonnie Cornwall, CalRecycle
Georgianne Turner, CalRecycle
Bob Holmes, CalRecycle
Kevin Taylor, CalRecycle
Ken Decio, CalRecycle
Frank Mele, CalTrans

Next EAC Meeting: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 in Sacramento from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Minutes by Lars Seifert

(The agenda items presented below were generally discussed in the order as listed. The San Bruno Fire Video and Proposition 26 Impacts agenda items were not discussed at the EAC Meeting as scheduled.)

II. Agenda Review

The addition of an agenda item to discuss the minor violation provisions of AB 2679 was requested by Mr. Seifert. No other discussion was noted on the meeting agenda.

III. Approval of Previous Minutes

A motion was made and seconded (Oda/O’Rullian) to approve the minutes from the December 7, 2010 EAC meeting. The minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.

IV. EAC Discussion Items

A. CalTrans Sites (Mark de Bie/Frank Mele)

(See US EPA Region 9 Compliance Order No. CWA-09-2011-0001 issued October 26, 2010 for more information).

  • Mr. de Bie stated that CalTrans had contacted CalRecycle regarding the Compliance Order issued by US EPA Region 9 for Clean Water Act violations associated with stormwater management. Some of the stormwater program violations dealt with sweeper and roadway waste stockpiles and vactor decant storage or disposal locations. The required compliance date of the order was December 31, 2010 to have the sites either permitted or properly closed.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that Mr. Frank Mele, a District Engineer for Caltrans, had recently contacted him to seek guidance for Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and CalRecycle/LEA compliance. Outstanding issues still being discussed deal with lead impacted contaminated soils and decanting sites for vactor trucks, in which liquids from cleaning out storm drains are deposited into pits.
  • A State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) determination is likely needed for LEAs to make a determination regarding permit requirements for vactor decanting sites.
  • Comments from Mr. O’Rullian indicated that a lot of trash is present in vactor waste. Additional concerns also noted involved the stockpiling of street sweepings by CalTrans with no apparent timelines for disposal.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that collection and/or transfer sites for street sweepings and roadway wastes would likely qualify under Notification Tier requirements and that CalTrans recognizes these requirements.
  • Feedback from the EAC members indicated that CalTrans yards in LA and Orange County were permitted, however, Sacramento County was not currently permitting sites. A request had been received by Mr. Doser from CalTrans seeking an exemption from permitting altogether.
  • Mr. de Bie announced that CalRecycle had shared information at LEA Roundtables regarding this issue and that an all LEA email would be sent out requesting feedback from LEA if they were contacted by CalTrans (sent February 18, 2011). Local feedback would be used to assist CalTrans in developing guidance for their Districts to ensure statewide consistency in meeting regulatory requirements.

Mr. Frank Mele was present later in the morning to update the EAC group on CalTrans efforts to comply with the order. Mr. Mele stated that vactor trucks had historically land applied the materials and that the EPA had audited several storage and stockpile locations. CalTrans is also working with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on additional areas with potential lead contaminated soils. Mr. Mele provided the following updates:

  • Some CalTrans districts have sought local direction early and CalTrans has prepared preliminary guidance for permitting sites and handling materials with CalRecycle assistance. Street sweeping materials are to be containerized and transported for disposal at landfills. The guidance also details when an LEA should be notified of transfer operations at a yard.
  • CalTrans has submitted a plan to EPA proposing to have site compliance by June 30, 2011 and documented compliance by September 30, 2011.

Mr. Pete Oda added that CalTrans has been submitting notifications to Los Angeles County to operate limited volume transfer operations. Mr. Seifert suggested that CalTrans should investigate what local municipalities are doing with vactor truck wastes and/or decant sites to see if there are any best management practices (BMPs) that CalTrans could incorporate.

B. Acting Director of CalRecycle Report (Mark Leary)

  • Mr. Mark Leary introduced himself to the EAC and discussed his current role in the Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery and that plans for a new Director were not immediately clear given State priorities. Mr. John Lair has been appointed as the Secretary for the Natural Resources Agency.
  • Mr. Leary noted that the model of partnership between State and local agencies that CalRecycle employs was a great example for other agencies in the State and consistent with the emphasis that newly elected Governor Brown has placed on State and local partnerships. Mr. Leary was provided encouragement by the EAC to promote the CalRecycle/LEA partnership with the Governor’s Office if given the opportunity as it is seen to be a very effective model.

Mr. Pitts asked if any relief would be available to smaller cities that were having difficulties meeting AB 939 requirements due to budget shortfalls and inaccessibility to recycling markets. Mr. Leary stated that CalRecycle would continue to enforce AB 939 mandates as required under law.

C. Deputy Director of Compliance abd Enforcement Division Report (Ted Rauh)

  • CalRecycle is currently focusing on implementing the new closure/post-closure financial assurance regulations for non-water release corrective action costs that will be effective on July 1, 2011. It is expected that 60 facilities will be subject to these requirements this year. A draft guidance document for preparing corrective action plans has been published and the final technical guidance document will be released shortly. A session on developing site-specific on-water release corrective action plans is being developed for the CalRecycle/LEA Technical Training Series in Monterey in March.
  • CalRecycle has sought to re-format a Technical Advisory Committee on illegal dumping and Ken Stuart will continue his assistance with the task force.
  • The Department budget process is underway and continued shortfalls are expected for the next fiscal year.

Mr. Pitts asked if any additional workloads would be shifted to local jurisdictions from any expected downsizing. Mr. Rauh stated that the near-term budget will likely remain consistent, but lower revenues over the long-term may lead to changes in how the work is apportioned.

D. Biosolids (Bill O’Rullian)

  • Mr. O’Rullian provided an update of recent legal events in Kern County regarding the land application of biosolids, which has been banned under ballot Measure E. Notifications have been sent out to applicators to cease the application of biosolids within 6 months (e.g. Liberty, Synagro, Los Angeles County, and Orange County).
  • Los Angeles and Orange Counties have filed a new lawsuit against Kern County. CalRecycle was cited as supporting these counties, but this not an official position.

E. Contra Costa LEA Fee Survey (Joe Doser)

  • Mr. Doser stated that Contra Costa County is conducting a fee study to revise their LEA fees. A Bay Area Counties Solid Waste Fee comparison table compiled in October 2010 was provided to the EAC members for reference.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that CalRecycle would forward their EA program costs to Mr. Doser as additional fee support information. Mr. Seifert stated that he would provide Mr. Doser with a recent fee comparison survey compiled by Ms. Rebecca Lafreniere of San Diego County for Southern California Counties. It was also noted that Monterey County recently conducted a fee study.

EAC members Mr. Ferrier, Mr. O’Rullian, and Mr. Pitts provided a number of suggestions to Mr. Doser regarding items to consider when conducting a fee study. Mr. Ferrier stated that one should consider the varying activities performed by differing LEAs to ensure that an equal comparison is made when justifying fees based on other LEA revenue structures. Mr. Pitts suggested that an itemized breakdown of all time involved with LEA activities should be performed to establish appropriate fully allocated rates for cost recovery. Mr. O’Rullian suggested that it is important to include a consideration of projects reviewed by LEAs, such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents, where cost recovery is not being attained.

Mr. de Bie and Ms. Bonnie Cornwall of CalRecycle also provided some helpful suggestions for consideration. Mr. Cornall suggested that a diversified strategy for revenue tends to be helpful in securing a stable funding stream. She also suggested that cost recovery of non-permitted facility activities performed by the LEA should be considered, including illegal dumping enforcement and complaint investigation expenses. Mr. de Bie suggested that LEAs should take into consideration that diversion requirements will likely be changing, potentially reducing revenues if fees are solely based on disposal amounts versus waste quantities being generated by the public.

F. Ralph Hunter Award (Joe Doser)

  • Mr. Doser reported that two nominees had been submitted for the 2010 Ralph Hunter Award, Mr. Lars Seifert and Ms. Rebecca LaFreniere.
  • EAC discussion was conducted on who was included on the Awards Committee for selecting the Ralph Hunter Award recipient. It was initially thought that the selection committee consisted of the EAC Chair, CCDEH Solid Waste Committee Chair, and the CalRecycle’s Waste Compliance and Mitigation Program Director. Mr. Doser and Mr. Rauh submitted a selection nomination of Ms. LaFreniere based on award criteria ratings. EAC members voiced support for the decision.

Meeting Break for Lunch (11:40 a.m.-1:05 p.m.)

  • Upon further discussion and review of the Ralph Hunter award procedures, the EAC Members were also noted to be participants on the Awards Committee.
  • Mr. Seifert excused himself from the room while rating sheets were completed by EAC members and the nomination award was discussed.
  • The EAC Members also voted unanimously in favor of presenting Ms. LaFreniere the 2010 Ralph Hunter Memorial Award.

EAC Resolution No. 2011-01 for the 2010 Ralph Hunter Memorial Award Recipient (Joe Doser)

The resolution was passed unanimously by the EAC and the award was presented during the 13th Annual Technical Training Series in Monterey, CA on February 28, 2011.

G. Permit Process: 5-Year Permit Review Guidance (Mark de Bie)

  • Mr. Doser requested an update on the status of the 5-Year Permit Review Guidance document given feedback provided by LEAs at regional roundtable meetings.
  • Mr. Ferrier questioned why this discussion was being held as current guidance confirms that a permit revision is equivalent to a permit review and that neither statutes nor regulations have been revised.
  • Mr. de Bie reiterated that based on feedback received from LEAs, it was apparent that there may be policy questions that need to be addressed prior to moving forward with the guidance document. As discussed and concurred with by EAC members at the previous EAC meeting, CalRecycle was to prepare a series of specific questions that were presented at LEA roundtables to solicit further clarification from LEAs as to why there seemed to be a general view that processing a permit revision application was held to be equivalent to conducting a five-year permit review.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that the information compiled and forwarded to him from the regional roundtables was not as clean for comparison as he had anticipated.
  • Further discussion seemed to suggest that the difference in viewpoint between CalRecycle and LEA on the equivalency of the relationship between permit reviews and permit revisions may stem from alternate perspectives on what is being done by LEAs versus CalRecycle during the processing of a permit application and what documentation may result from these permit processes.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that further evaluation of the data collected from LEAs and a request for industry feedback may be needed prior to moving forward on the guidance document revisions.
  • No EAC decisions or further direction was provided to CalRecycle.

H. Minor Violation Subcommittee Report (Georgianne Turner)

  • Mr. Seifert queried about the status of the minor violation provisions in statute at the previous EAC meeting as over two years have passed following the implementation of minor violation provisions and no LEAs have reported to be utilizing it.
  • Ms. Georgianne Turner provided a helpful refresher on the various enforcement provisions of AB 2679, including minor violations, and explained that a number of other beneficial regulations changes were also adopted under the same bill.
  • Ms. Turner requested that the EAC provide direction to CalRecycle and the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH) Solid Waste Policy Committee with respect to this legislation. Options presented to the EAC members included:
    • Leave it alone as it may not be a high priority item for LEAs or CalRecycle;
    • Propose a formal effort to modify the legislation with specific recommendations to the CCDEH Policy Committee on amendments to, or removal of, the minor violation provisions from statute; or
    • Propose possible amendments that could be included in legislation later if an opportunity is presented.
  • No formal action was taken by the EAC at this time.

I. CalRecycle/LEA Technical Training Series (Bonnie Cornwall)

  • Ms. Cornwall reported that the conference schedule and planning had been finalized and that 11 hours of continuing education contact hours for the REHS program would be made available during the training event.
  • Ms. Cornwall requested that LEAs provide any photos or slides to Mr. Ken Decio prior to Thursday so that the annual slideshow for the conference could be finalized.

Update: Copies of conference presentations are available online.

J. Legislation/Regulations (Bob Holmes, Absent)

No update was provided on legislation or regulations.

V. Public Comments


VI. Next EAC Meeting April 26, 2011 in Sacramento

Meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.

Please note: Past meeting agendas and notes are retained for historical purposes. Over time, some information and links on these pages may become dated and/or inaccurate.

Last updated: May 10, 2011 
Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC)
Leta Forland: (916) 341-6395