Barbara Lee

Regulators Jumping Toxic Ship

Senior managers and mid-level workhorse staff are leaving the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) in droves as its director, Barbara Lee, stonewalls the independent review panel created to help lawmakers reform the dysfunctional agency.

Just this week, the agency lost its hazardous waste management program deputy who stayed in the job for barely 18 months. In recent months, its legislative director, chief counsel, site mitigation deputy, civil rights officer, and chief deputy director have either left or been asked to do so.

Toxics Watchdogs Toy With Hiding Recordings of Public Meetings

California officials give transparency a lot of lip service, but it's usually the first thing sacrificed when it reveals inconvenient truths like incompetence, industry bias and moral bankruptcy. 

How An Exide Could Happen

The Los Angeles Timeseditorial this week on the urgency of cleaning up Exide’s swath of contamination asks a legitimate question: Why hasn’t California launched an independent investigation into what went so wrong at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and other agencies that hazardous waste levels of lead are threatening hundreds of East Los Angeles residents, especially children? 

Why Does It Take KCBS To Do Top Toxics Regulator's Job?

Last night, CBS TV Los Angeles ran an astonishing story. 
Reporter Randy Paige visited homes within two miles of the now-shuttered lead battery recycler Exide. Using an EPA-certified device to instantly measure lead levels in soil or dust, he found children were playing in hazardous waste levels of lead ten times higher or more than the acceptable residential standard. 

Will De León Hold Top Regulator Accountable For Cleanup of Boeing's Toxic Site?

When Barbara Lee came up for confirmation as Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control in July, 50 groups begged the California Senate Rules Committee and Senate pro Tem Kevin de León to put off a vote until Lee, who had been in office six months, took action to punish serial hazardous waste polluters, deny them permits, and force them to clean up communities under toxic assault.

The Rules Committee confirmed her anyway, but she got fair warning.

Accused of Ignoring Widespread Contamination, Top Toxics Regulator's Future Questioned

The state’s top toxics regulator, Barbara Lee, comes up for Senate confirmation this week in the wake of a CBS News story on how much more widespread lead contamination is around the now-closed Exide facility in East Los Angeles and that it exposes vulnerable children to dangerously high levels of lead.


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