SACRAMENTO -- About 100 demonstrators from across the state rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday to protest the state Department of Toxic Substances Control’s handling of hazardous waste in their communities.
Complaining that California was “in bed with polluters,” protesters set up an air mattress in front of the department's headquarters and decorated it with pictures of Gov. Jerry Brown and department chief Debbie Raphael, as well as logos of companies such as Chevron and Exide and fake dollar bills.
“The purpose of this rally is to bring together communities impacted by DTSC, to ask DTSC for some really significant reforms to its permitting programs, its cleanup programs, its enforcement actions,” said Ingrid Bostrom, an attorney with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, the advocacy group that organized the demonstration.
Department officials declined to comment on the protest. But top department leaders, including Brian Johnson, the deputy director for Hazardous Waste Management, and Rizghar Gazi, head of permitting, met with protesters on the street to discuss their issues, officials said.