Editorial: Oil drillers want to overturn California’s new health protections. Don’t let them.
Oil drillers want to overturn California’s new health protections. Don’t let them.
On April 23, California’s Assembly passed AB 3063, by state Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, (R-Pacoima) a bill to prohibit state programs that have been deemed to be illegal. A week earlier, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control proposed a final rule to define hazardous substances as those with a “known”, “potential” or “likely” threat to public health or safety. On April 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public hearing on the proposed rule.
In the past week, several state agencies released draft regulations on the use of the “Known, Potential and Likely Public Health Risks” (KPHR) standard created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for chemical substances. The agencies are the California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Department of Pesticide Regulation (PDR), and California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
“I have long supported a policy prohibiting California from applying policies and rules that have been declared illegal by a governmental agency,” Assemblymember Gomez told Civil Beat. “I hope this bill will allow us to continue to provide clear, concise and consistent information to the regulated community.”
The bill was introduced in April. On April 23, it passed by the Assembly with 37-0 votes. The Senate has not yet acted on the bill.
The new rules would prohibit California from enforcing any of the health protection standards or risk management efforts in the KPHD or KPFD programs that have been “deemed” to be illegal by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.
The KPHD Program is an occupational health and safety system which regulates chemicals used in production, use, transportation and disposal in the oil and gas industries. KPHD programs are established under the authority of the California Prevention of Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Act, Chapter 21.3 (commencing with Section 25500), of the Health and Safety Code, and the KPFD Program is an environmental programs