California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Enforcement Advisory Council Meeting

Minutes: September 7, 2011

CalEPA Building
1001 I Street
Sacramento, California

Meeting called to order 9:35 a.m.

I. Introductions

Joe Doser, Chair, CCLHO (Health Officers)
Greg Pirie, Vice-Chair, Bay Area Roundtable
Lars Seifert, Vice-Chair, Conference Call, Southern Roundtable
Pete Oda (Jerry Villalobos for), Conference Call, South Western Roundtable
Jacquie Adams, Conference Call, Southern Cities
Marina Winslow (John Wells for), Northern Roundtable
Lisa Todd, North Central Roundtable
Brian Pitts, CCDEH
Dennis Ferrier, Absent, Northern Cities
Bill O’Rullian, South Central Roundtable
Vacant Position, Contract Counties
Vacant Position, CalRecycle EA
Mark Leary, CalRecycle
Mark de Bie, CalRecycle
Scott Walker, CalRecycle
Bonnie Cornwall, CalRecycle
Georgianne Turner, CalRecycle
Sue Markie, CalRecycle
Kevin Taylor, CalRecycle
Ken Decio, CalRecycle
Lorreta Sylve, CalRecycle
Elliott Block, CalRecycle
Bill Prinz, San Diego City LEA
Lori Braunesreither, Contra Costa County LEA
Richard Lee, Contra Costa County LEA
Marilyn Underwood, Contra Costa County LEA
John Reed, Sacramento County

Next EAC Meeting: Thursday, December 15, 2011 in Sacramento at 9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Minutes by Lars Seifert.

The agenda items presented below were generally discussed in the order listed. The agenda item on LEA Budget Problems was not discussed at the EAC Meeting as scheduled.

II. Agenda Review

No additions

III. Approval of Previous Minutes

A motion was made and seconded (Todd/Winslow) to approve the minutes from the June 29, 2011 EAC meeting with the corrected meeting date for today’s meeting. The minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.

IV. EAC Discussion Items

A. EAC Resolution in Support of LEA Permit Conditions (Joe Doser)

  • Mr. Doser introduced current difficulties that Contra Costa County was having with respect to fee collection and concerns raised with regard to CalRecycle’s narrow stance on the breadth of LEA authority on permit conditions. Mr. Doser read a statement into the record and suggested that CalRecycle work with LEAs on either regulation changes or to revise policies to improve the process. Permit conditions seen as a valuable enforcement tool for LEAs.
  • Ms. Todd stated that CUPA permits often state that permits will be nullified if operator does not pay fees and that Sacramento County was exploring the use of a permit condition in the SWFP that would compel an operator to follow a fee ordinance.
  • County Counsel for Sacramento County stated that the Health and Safety Code contains a provision for CUPA to collect fees, but LEAs do not have a “stop or pay” provision in regulations. Fees are collected under local county ordinance, but counties cannot take an action against the operator for failure to comply with the fee ordinance as it would be a preemptive action of a local government against a State permit. He suggested that a permit condition regarding fees would provide LEAs the authority to compel payment or face enforcement of a permit violation under State law.
  • Mr. Pitts suggested that the local District Attorney’s office file an unfair business practice claim against the operator.
  • Mr. de Bie was not present at the previous EAC meeting; however, he stated that it was CalRecycle’s position that:
    • the inclusion of permit conditions not related to the protection of public health, safety, and the environment, or regarding the design or operation of the landfill was not permissible; and
    • the enforceability of a condition related to the failure to pay fees would be questioned.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that the permit conditions needed to have basis in State statute or regulation rather than addressing a local issue, such as the imposition of a fee under local ordinance.
  • Mr. Lee countered that regulation does not also prohibit the LEA from imposing conditions based on local issues. He also stated that existing law does not provide LEAs with any enforcement authority to collect fees, but rather only to adopt fees. Contra Costa LEA has a lack of funding needed to support the LEA to protect public health and safety.
  • Mr. Prinz asked CalRecycle staff about what tools are utilized by the State Board of Equalizations to collect disposal fees from landfills. CalRecycle staff provided no answer.
  • Mr. Elliot Block stated that there is a broader issue of LEA authority with respect to enforcement. Mr. Block explained in detail CalRecycle’s position as to why these provisions were not allowed. The SWF permits used to be umbrella permits, but with AB 1220 the legislature narrowed the scope of authority to prevent overlap between the Air Resources Board and State Water Resources Control Board and local issues. There was expansive discussion regarding the issues in which Mr. Block provided additional information. CalRecycle is reviewing permit conditions to ensure enforceability. How much more effective is it to enforce the issue through the LEA than by other means?
  • The Contra Costa County Director stated that the ability to enforce is directly related to fees collected under local ordinance for LEA programs.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that the ability of LEAs to maintain fiscal stability is a problem that CalRecycle is concerned about as the LEA is a partner in the permitting process. He requested more information on the Contra Costa fee ordinance specifics.
  • Mr. Doser requested feedback on possible solutions available to LEAs.
  • Mr. Prinz asked what the State would do if they were the EA and not being paid fees to perform required services.
  • Ms. Cornwall stated that a permit condition related to fees was raised at the Solid Waste Policy Committee and that the consensus of the directors was that the following fee condition was not appropriate. Mr. Pitt suggested that the directors may not have had the same information presented to them.
  • (LEA Condition: The operator shall pay all tonnage and other applicable fees to the LEA as required by Contra Costa County ordinance and fee resolution).
  • Mr. Seifert suggested that the scope of the conversation and discussion should also address broader questions as to how the permit may relate and/or incorporate local land use approvals that must be considered when drafting a Solid Waste Facility Permit. The State permit cannot conflict with the underlying conditions of the local land use approval that are often related to public health and safety or the environment and established pursuant to the CEQA process. What is an appropriate condition in the SWFP? The EAC would like to address before it becomes a bigger issue.
  • Mr. Lee concurred that holes exist in the regulations and controversies start bubbling up. The State needs to provide guidance to LEAs and listen to their feedback.
  • Mr. Pitts suggested that LEAs need more outrage from CalRecycle about an operator failing to pay fees rather than beating up the Contra Costa LEA. Why isn’t the State going after the operator in support of the LEA?
  • Mr. Mark Leary introduced his report with a statement that he felt that he had a sense of the issues related to permit conditions and hoped that LEAs would also seek to include CalRecycle’s perspectives as well as the issue is discussed. A commitment to the LEA partnership was emphasized.
  • Mr. Leary stated that there has been increasing conversations about the potential shift of CalRecycle back to CalEPA from the Natural Resources Agency, but it is dependent upon legislation during the next session.
  • He stated that the format of the monthly public meetings are being revised to be more policy oriented with more substantive issues that are more relevant to stakeholders and LEAs. Agenda topics are welcome.
  • Mr. Leary stated that budget restrictions have continued and that CalRecycle is seeking further reductions in expenditures without staff layoffs.
  • It was reported that Scott Walker was the current acting Deputy Director for the Permitting and Enforcement Divisions.

B. Joint Workgroup for Electronic Data/Report Management (Dennis Ferrier – Absent)

  • Mr. Doser stated that Mr. Ferrier had requested the agenda item as a follow up to the EAC Resolution on the issue in 2006.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that much of the work had been done, including the implementation of SWIS DIP, but that not all items in the resolution had been completed. Currently, Mr. Ray Seamans has been evaluating the concepts and ideas that have been drafted and the potential business practice changes to handle non-paper formats at CalRecycle.
  • Ms. Turner and Ms. Cornwall stated that given limited resources, they are seeking other ways to promote electronic records handling with the tools available.
  • Mr. de Bie reported that better utilization of SWIS DIP would assist CalRecycle in promoting further developments. A proposition to sunset the paper inspection forms was suggested for the LEAs to discuss at Roundtable Meetings to encourage higher utilization rates of SWIS DIP.
  • An ad hoc committee consisting of Mark de Bie, Chris Rummel, Dennis Ferrier, and Ray Seamans was established to explore other options for electronic transmittals of permit documents.

C. Tiered Permits  (Joe Doser)

  • Mr. Doser stated that LEAs have seen problematic issues arise due to the current tiered permit structure, particularly with regard to EA Notifications.
  • Mr. Oda stated that he has a facility with three separate EA Notifications (for CDI Processing, Transfer, and Chipping/Grinding Operations). It was commented that this is periodically done to avoid CEQA requirements. Ms. Todd stated that Sacramento County considers these auxiliary operations and LEA does not recognize multiple operations.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that CalRecycle recognizes that not all operations are equal in scope or complexity, and many operations were slotted into the tiered structure with unanticipated effects. Multiple operations at one site was not envisioned when the tiered permitting regulations were written. Any further regulations will need to consider whether adding a new operation into the tiered structure (such as the CDI Processing Operations) will be helpful or whether it would be better to overlap an existing type of operation. It was also unanticipated that the local land use agencies would not close the gap on regulating the Notification Tier operations. The LEA does have the authority to affirm whether an EA Notification is consistent with regulations allowing such an operation.
  • Mr. O’Rullian stated that there was also a disparity between jurisdictions on what was considered a recycling facility versus a transfer station (e.g. drywall crushers, animal feed processing, or degreasing facilities).
  • Enforcement (or lack of enforcement tools) by LEAs at EA Notification operations was also raised by several EAC members. Significant time and effort is spent by LEAs for enforcement of State Minimum Standards at Notification Tier Operations, but with few tools to assign fees to recoup costs, revoke permits, or use of other enforcement mechanisms since no permit exists for the operation.
  • Mr. Doser stated that it would be beneficial to discuss the Tiered Permit structure at regional Roundtable Meetings and report back if there were further problems that have been identified by LEAs.

IV. CalRecycle Items:

A. Training/CEUs at Roundtables (Loretta Sylve)

  • Ms. Sylve announced that a 1-hour training on Treated Wood Waste (TWW) Management by DTSC would be offered at the Roundtable Meetings and that 1 REHS contact hour would be provided.
  • Ms. Sylve also announced that Loadchecking Trainings and a Communication Training would also be held during October and November in various locations throughout the State.
  • A State Minimum Standards training with a similar format to the CEQA/SWF Permit training that involved a workbook and pre-test and a field training segment is in development. A focus on composting and odor issues is likely.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that CalRecycle is seeking to utilize contractors and/or specialists from other agencies rather than staff so that resources can be most effectively utilized. Efforts to offer contact hours for REHS will continue as CalRecycle is an approved accreditation agency.

B. Legislation/Regulations (Ken Decio)

  • AB 34 (Williams) – Would require CalRecycle to establish regulations that would require the site-specific objective odor performance thresholds for compost facilities. Mr. Decio stated that this bill failed to pass appropriations and would not be moving forward. Ms. Turner expressed some concern that the odor requirements could potentially be rolled into AB 341.
  • AB 341 (Chesbro) – Would make a legislative declaration that it is the policy goal of the state that not less than 75% of solid waste generated be source reduced, recycled, or composted by the year 2020. CalRecycle would report on strategies to meet the goal. Mr. Decio stated that the bill was still pending. (Update: Signed by Governor Brown on October 6, 2011.)
  • AB 1178 (Ma) – Would prohibit the restriction or limiting the importation of solid waste into a privately owned solid waste facility within a particular jurisdiction. The bill was currently still under consideration
  • SB 833 (Vargas) – Would prohibit a person from constructing or operating a solid waste landfill disposal facility located in the County of San Diego if that disposal facility is located within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River or an aquifer that is hydrologically connected to that river and is within 1,000 feet of a site that is considered sacred or of spiritual or cultural importance to a tribe and is listed in the California Native American Heritage Commission Sacred Lands Inventory. Passed Senate by 70-1 and was sent to the Governor for consideration. (Update: Vetoed by Governor Brown on October 9, 2011)
  • Mr. de Bie stated that there was an upcoming informal workshop for stakeholders on September 20, 2011 to explore regulations on organics, composting, land applications, anaerobic digestion and odors.
  • Mr. de Bie stated that the next regulation package would also address the permit application issue and a concept document would be prepared in the next couple of weeks.
  • During the next monthly workshop in October, CalRecycle intends to present some problem areas in the regulations with the hope of ensuring that all of the problems have been identified and potential ways to resolve them.

C. CalRecycle Travel Limitations (Ken Decio)

  • Mr. Decio stated that travel restrictions remained in place for EAC Meetings and CalRecycle attendance at Roundtable Meetings. Only day trips were being allowed, but no per diem requests could be made.
  • Mr. de Bie suggested that CalRecycle may attend Roundtable Meetings provided it was in conjunction with a site visit or other activity related to staff duties.

D. LEA Directory/Mailing List (Mark de Bie)

  • Mr. de Bie reported that CalRecycle was spending significant time and resources trying to maintain LEA directory and notification lists for mass e-mails. He requested feedback on whether LEAs would be willing to assist with streamlining the process by having a public LEA list and a listserv created for all LEA notifications.
  • Ms. Cornwall stated that CalRecycle was trying to address potential issues with making sure everyone was included in the LEA e-mails.
  • Mr. de Bie requested that Roundtables consider the idea of a listserv populated by the all LEA public list and then maintained by the LEAs by adding or removing staff from the listserv as needed. He requested feedback on whether LEAs had any issues or concerns with a listserv or the LEA initiated subscription to the list.

E. CalRecycle Enforcement Website (Bonnie Cornwall)

  • Ms. Cornwall reported that the CalRecycle was proposing a navigation redesign of the enforcement portion of the LEA central home page. She requested assistance to have test participants spend up to 2 hours on current design and then on re-design to assess the effectiveness of the re-design.
  • Ms. Cornwall also requested that LEAs complete the training survey to provide feedback on current training needs.

V. Public Comments:

No public comment.

VI. Next Meeting Scheduled for December 15, 2011 in Sacramento

Meeting adjourned at 2:40 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: September 26, 2011 
Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC) http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LEA/EACouncil/
Leta Forland: Leta.Forland@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6395