California Health and Safety Code
Sec. § 25262


(a)

A responsible party for a hazardous materials release site may request the committee at any time to designate an administering agency to oversee a site investigation and remedial action at the site. The committee shall designate an administering agency as responsible for the site within 45 days of the date the request is received. A request to designate an administering agency may be denied only if the committee makes one of the following findings:

(1)

No single agency in state or local government has the expertise needed to adequately oversee a site investigation and remedial action at the site.

(2)

Designating an administering agency will have the effect of reversing a regulatory or enforcement action initiated by an agency that has jurisdiction over the site, a facility on the site, or an activity at the site.

(3)

Designating an administering agency will prevent a regulatory or enforcement action required by federal law or regulations.

(4)

The administering agency and the responsible party are local agencies formed, in whole or in part, by the same political subdivision.

(b)

A responsible party who requests the designation of an administering agency for a hazardous materials release site shall provide the committee with a brief description of the site, an analysis of the known or suspected nature of the release or threatened release that is the subject of required site investigation or remedial action, a description of the type of facility from which the release occurred or the type of activity that caused the release, a specification of the regulatory or enforcement actions that have been taken, or are pending, with respect to the release, and a statement of which agency the responsible party believes should be designated as administering agency for the site.

(c)

(1) The committee shall take all of the following factors into account in determining which agency to designate as administering agency for a site:

(A)

The type of release that is the subject of site investigation and remedial action.

(B)

The nature of the threat that the release poses to human health and safety or to the environment.

(C)

The source of the release, the type of facility or activity from which the release occurred, the regulatory programs that govern the facility or activity involved, and the agency or agencies that administer those regulatory programs.

(D)

The regulatory history of the site, the types of regulatory actions or enforcement actions that have been taken with respect to the site or the facility or activity from which the release occurred, and the experience and involvement that various agencies have had with the site.

(E)

The capabilities and expertise of the agencies that are candidates for designation as the administering agency for the site and the degree to which those capabilities and that expertise are applicable to the type of release at the site, the nature of the threat that the release poses to health and safety or the environment and the probable remedial measures that will be required.

(2)

After weighing the factors described in paragraph (1) as they apply to the site, the committee shall use the criteria specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) as guidelines for designating the administering agency. If more than one of the criteria apply to the site, the committee shall use its best judgment, taking into account the known facts concerning the hazardous materials release at the site and its regulatory history, in determining which agency may best serve as the administering agency. The criteria are as follows:

(A)

The administering agency shall be the Department of Toxic Substances Control if one of the following applies:

(i)

The department has issued an order, or otherwise initiated action, with respect to the release at the site pursuant to Section 25355, 25355.5, or 25358.3.

(ii)

The department has issued an order for corrective action at the site pursuant to Section 25187.
(iii) The source of the release is a facility or hazardous waste management unit or an activity that is, or was, regulated by the department pursuant to Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100).

(iv)

The department is conducting, or has conducted, oversight of the site investigation and remedial action at the site at the request of the responsible party.

(B)

The administering agency shall be the California regional water quality control board for the region in which the site is located, if one of the following applies:

(i)

The California regional water quality control board has issued a cease and desist order pursuant to Section 13301, or a cleanup and abatement order pursuant to Section 13304 of the Water Code in connection with the release at the site.

(ii)

The source of the release is a facility or an activity that is subject to waste discharge requirements issued by the California regional water quality control board pursuant to Section 13263 of the Water Code or that is regulated by the California regional water quality control board pursuant to Article 5.6 (commencing with Section 25159.10) of, or Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 25208) of, Chapter 6.5, or pursuant to Chapter 6.67 (commencing with Section 25270).
(iii) The California regional water quality control board has jurisdiction over the site pursuant to Chapter 5.6 (commencing with Section 13390) of Division 7 of the Water Code.

(C)

The administering agency shall be the Department of Fish and Game if the release has polluted or contaminated the waters of the state and the department has taken action against the responsible party pursuant to Section 2014 or 12015 of, or Article 1 (commencing with Section 5650) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 6 of, the Fish and Game Code, subsection (f) of Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9607 (f)), or Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1321).

(D)

The administering agency shall be a local agency if any one of the following circumstances is applicable:

(i)

The source of the release at the site is an underground storage tank, as defined in subdivision (y) of Section 25281, the local agency is the agency described in subdivision (i) of Section 25281, and there is no evidence of any extensive groundwater contamination at the site.

(ii)

The local agency has accepted responsibility for overseeing the site investigation or remedial action at the site and a state agency is not involved.
(iii) The local agency has agreed to oversee the site investigation or remedial action at the site and is certified, or has been approved, by a state agency to conduct that oversight.

(d)

A responsible party for a hazardous materials release site may request the designation of an administering agency for the site pursuant to this section only once. The action of the committee on the request is a final action and is not subject to further administrative or judicial review.
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Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016