Two state senators have called for an investigation into the state agency responsible for protecting people and the environment from hazardous chemicals after a consumer group released a report Thursday criticizing the agency for failing to do its job.
Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog has accused the Department of Toxic Substances Control, which is responsible for managing hazardous waste, of allowing polluters to operate on expired permits for years and of neglecting to revoke the permits of companies that repeatedly flouted environmental laws. The group also charges that the department levies toothless fines and consistently fails to refer egregious cases for prosecution.
In response, Sens. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) have called for an investigation by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes.
"I am outraged to hear reports of kids and adults having difficulty breathing, experiencing nausea and burning sinuses from chemical exposure," De León said in a statement. "We must investigate why the DTSC isn't enforcing our laws, which are aimed to protect the health and safety of our communities."