All California jurisdictions with responsibility to submit integrated waste management plans have now submitted such plans, with the exception of newly-incorporated cities. These new cities must either submit their plans to the Board within 18 months of incorporation or else join a CalRecycle-approved regional agency. The following is a summary of the Board’s 9now know as CalRecycle) past enforcement actions in this area. (Also see failure to implement plans.)
When a jurisdiction fails to submit an adequate integrated waste management plan, the CalRecycle may hold a penalty hearing to determine whether to exercise its authority under PRC 41813 to fine jurisdictions up to $10,000 per day.
To ensure consistency in its treatment of jurisdictions leading up to a potential penalty phase, the Board adopted enforcement policies in November 1993 (later incorporated by reference into statute). In addition, at Board meetings in March 1996, February 1997, and April 1997, the Board established a step-wise compliance process which included public hearings and a compliance order detailing specific actions to be taken by those out-of-compliance jurisdictions, as well as deadlines for those actions.
Each jurisdiction’s Source Reduction and Recycling Element (SRRE), Household Hazardous Waste Element (HHWE), and Nondisposal Facility Element (NDFE) were due to the Board on April 30, August 31, or December 31, 1994. The Board directed staff to work with jurisdictions to get elements submitted.
In April 1997 the Board accepted compliance schedules submitted by 49 jurisdictions that specified submittal dates for SRREs and/or NDFEs and documentation demonstrating that the elements had been properly adopted. By December 1, 1997, all but four jurisdictions had submitted their elements and documentation to the Board.
The information below summarizes actions taken by the Board on the four jurisdictions at penalty hearings conducted at a Board meeting on January 29, 1998. The individual fines and the Board’s stated reasons for how they were set are summarized below.
The fines all used the criteria in statute and the Board’s adopted enforcement policy, including, but not limited to:
- “Good faith effort” to implement all reasonable and feasible measures to comply.
- Reasons for failure to file or meet compliance schedule.
- Economic situation of the jurisdiction.
- The relative impact on disposal.
City of Guadalupe
Guadalupe had not submitted complete documentation for its SRRE—three and a half years after the deadline—because Guadalupe did not adopt a negative declaration to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), at the time the SRRE was considered. CEQA documents were not submitted at the time of the penalty hearing. Guadalupe said that CEQA documentation would be submitted to the Board within 30 days.
The Board assessed an administrative civil penalty of $7,200 with the following conditions:
- Stayed $5,000 of penalty for 30 days.
- If the Deputy Director determined the SRRE was complete at the end of 30 days, $5,000 would be forgiven.
- If the Deputy Director determined the SRRE was not complete at end of 30 days, then starting on day 31 the penalty would increase to $617 per day until the Deputy Director determined the SRRE was complete.
Guadalupe submitted CEQA documentation within 30 days and paid the $2,200 fine on April 8, 1998.
City of Point Arena
Point Arena had submitted a complete SRRE and NDFE by January 28, 1998, the day before the Board penalty hearing. Volunteers prepared all integrated waste management plans and they also implemented the diversion programs.
The Board assessed an administrative civil penalty of $1,160 for the SRRE and $580 for the NDFE ($1,740 total) but forgave the civil penalties based on:
- Submittal of complete documents.
- “Necessity to use volunteers to prepare documents due to the lack of city staff.”
City of Santa Fe Springs
The Board disapproved the Santa Fe Springs SRRE in January 1995 because it failed to project achieving 25 percent diversion in 1995 and 50 percent diversion in 2000. Santa Fe Springs did not submit a revised SRRE within 120 days, as required by statute.
The revised SRRE and supporting documentation were not received prior to the Board penalty hearing three years later. Santa Fe Springs said that documents would be submitted to the Board by April 3, 1998.
The Board assessed an administrative civil penalty of $43,000 with the following conditions:
- No additional penalty to accrue between January 29, 1998, and April 3, 1998.
- If the Deputy Director determined the SRRE was complete by April 3, 1998, the fine remained at $43,000.
- If the Deputy Director determined the SRRE was not complete by April 3, 1998, starting on April 4, 1998, the penalty would increase by $3,683 per day until the Deputy Director determined the SRRE was complete.
Santa Fe Springs submitted a complete SRRE and documentation prior to April 3, 1998 and paid a $43,000 fine on March 31, 1998.
Mariposa County submitted a complete SRRE, NDFE, Siting Element, and Summary Plan and supporting documentation on January 21, 1998, seven days before the Board’s penalty hearing. The Siting Element and Summary Plan were submitted prior to the due dates for these documents. Mariposa was working in partnership with the Board and Yosemite National Park on a co-composting facility that used new technology.
The Board assessed an administrative civil penalty of $21,000 with the following conditions:
- The Board forgave $18,500 because documents were submitted prior to the penalty hearing.
- Penalty to be paid was $2,500.
Mariposa County paid the $2,500 fine on June 17, 1998.