3960 Department of Toxic Substances Control
Program Descriptions


The Site Mitigation and Brownfields Reuse program implements the state's laws regarding site cleanup and the federal Superfund program. The program currently oversees approximately 800 hazardous substance release site investigations and cleanups, and monitors long-term operations and maintenance activities at more than 350 sites where the cleanup process is complete. Additionally, the Department is responsible for ensuring compliance with the terms of 700 land-use restrictions in place on properties throughout the state.

New sites are identified through surveillance and enforcement efforts, emergency response activities, examination of other previously-identified potential sites, and public and private entities that voluntarily request that the Department take action to return local properties to productive use. These sites and projects include cleaning up federal and state Superfund properties, abandoned mines, other abandoned and underutilized properties known as ''brownfields,'' and both active and closed military installations.

The program oversees environmental assessments and the clean-up of proposed new or expanding school sites to prevent or reduce exposing students and staff to hazardous substances. The program is also responsible for the Stringfellow Hazardous Waste Site, a former hazardous waste disposal site and federal Superfund Site.

The program works closely with other state agencies, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and local agencies throughout the state to establish and implement viable grant and loan programs to aid in the assessment and clean-up of brownfields sites.

The program works with the California Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies to assure response readiness for acts of terrorism involving the use of toxic chemicals. Additionally, the program mitigates off-highway hazardous waste spills and responds to hazardous waste contamination resulting from illegal drug laboratories.


The Hazardous Waste Management program regulates the generation, storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste to minimize risks to public health and the environment. The program oversees permitting and compliance at 117 authorized facilities that manage hazardous waste, approximately 900 registered businesses that transport hazardous waste, and close to 300 facilities/generators that are subject to corrective actions. Additionally, the program manages approximately $2.2 billion in financial assurance resources, and supports and oversees local agencies that implement the hazardous waste elements of the Unified Program.

The program monitors hazardous waste transfer, storage, treatment, and disposal facilities for illegal activity, including electronic manifest surveillance and monitoring of registered hazardous waste transporters; enforcing hazardous waste requirement violations found through routine inspections; complaint intake, triage, and investigations; and other focused enforcement initiatives. The program also ensures compliance with hazardous waste requirements related to electronic waste and used oil.


The Administration program provides accounting, budgeting, revenue collection, human resource and workforce management, data processing, performance management, business services, and other administrative support to departmental programs. Administration also supports operations in Sacramento, Clovis, Berkeley, Chatsworth, Cypress, San Diego, and El Centro, including two environmental chemistry laboratories located in northern and southern California.


The Pollution Prevention and Green Technology program provides scientific leadership in green chemistry, pollution prevention, and hazardous waste source reduction; analytical and environmental chemistry; biomonitoring; human and ecological exposure and risk assessment; industrial hygiene and workplace safety; innovative environmental technologies development; and nanotechnology issues.

The ongoing program activities include promoting the reduction of toxic substances usage and the utilization of safer green chemistry alternatives. The program also implements the Safer Consumer Products regulations; collects information on products and the presence of toxic chemicals; encourages independent research of safer product designs and alternatives; adopts focused business sector pollution prevention strategies; supports local green business initiatives; evaluates and deploys new environmental technologies; and develops strategies for emerging issues. The program ensures compliance with legislative mandates restricting or eliminating certain consumer products.


The California Environmental Protection Agency designated the Department of Toxic Substances Control as the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) in Trinity and Imperial Counties. As the CUPA, the Department is responsible for implementing the six elements of the Unified Program: hazardous waste generator and onsite treatment activities; spill-prevention control and countermeasure plans for owners of aboveground petroleum storage tanks; underground storage tank program; hazardous material release response plans and inventories; California Accidental Release Prevention program; and certain Uniform Fire Code requirements pertaining to hazardous material management plans and inventories.