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Improving California’s Response to the Environmental and Safety Hazards Caused by Abandoned Mines


The 2017-18 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection

February 15, 2017 - In this report, we assess many of the Governor's 2017-18 budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.


Hazardous Substances State Superfund Reauthorization Expediting Hazardous Substance Site Cleanups

August 18, 1998 - California's "Superfund" program, enacted in 1981 to clean up contaminated hazardous substance sites, sunsets on January 1, 1999. We make recommendations that are designed to address concerns raised about the program, while advancing the state's goals for protecting public health and the environment.


[PDF] Federal Economic Stimulus Funding Overview

March 17, 2009 - Presented to Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee and Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee


[PDF] Analysis of the 1996-97 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

February 21, 1996 - Analysis of the 1996-97 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter


State Superfund Reauthorization: Expediting Hazardous Substance Site Cleanups

January 12, 1999 - State Superfund Reauthorization: Expediting Hazardous Substance Site Cleanups


The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Toxic Substances Control

March 19, 2021 - Discusses the Governor's proposal to implement fiscal and governance reforms for the Department of Toxic Substances Control, as well as the proposal to provide $300 million in one-time General Fund to clean up brownfields across the state.


2009-10 Budget Analysis Series: Federal Economic Stimulus Package—Fiscal Effect on California

March 10, 2009 - The recently enacted federal economic stimulus package commits a total of $787 billion nationwide. We estimate that California will receive over $31 billion in monies that can be used to address budget shortfalls and supplement existing state spending and billions more in competitive grants. The recently enacted state 2009-10 budget specifies that if the amount available to address the state's budgetary problems is less than $10 billion, then annual state program reductions of nearly $1 billion and revenue increases of about $1.8 billion will go into effect. Based on the enacted state 2009-10 budget we estimate that $8 billion would be available. Given the state’s continuing economic struggles, however, it may be possible to use additional federal education dollars for budgetary relief. We identify key issues that the Legislature should consider in making decision regarding these new federal funds, including ways to maximize their benefit to the state General Fund and to provide appropriate oversight on the use of the federal monies.


[PDF] Analysis of the 1997-98 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

February 18, 1997 - Analysis of the 1997-98 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter


Department of Toxic Substances Control: Performance Improvement Initiatives Merit Oversight

April 4, 2017 - In light of concerns about the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s execution of its responsibilities in recent years, the Legislature has held numerous hearings to monitor the performance of the department’s programs. The Legislature has also approved additional funding and positions for the department to address deficiencies in some of these programs. In this web post, we discuss the department’s progress to date in addressing these deficiencies, as well as provide questions for legislators to ask the department in future budget and policy hearings to determine the degree to which the department is improving program performance.


[PDF] Strengthening Public Safety of Waste Facilities and Surface Mines: Financial Assurances

April 26, 2006 - The state has long recognized its responsibility to protect the general health and safety of the people of California. To protect Californians from hazards posed by waste facilities and surface mines, the state’s environmental regulatory agencies require financial assurances from the owners/operators of these facilities-evidence that these parties have the financial capacity to restore public resources that they degrade. This report details California’s existing financial assurance requirements, examines shortcomings with the current financial assurance system, and recommends improvements. Adoption of our recommendations should decrease the likelihood that financial assurances will fail to serve their public purpose, thereby reducing the state’s exposure to significant financial risk in the future.


The 2022-23 Budget: Department of Toxic Substances Control Reform Implementation

January 25, 2022 - In this post, we provide a description and analysis of the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposals to spend the additional revenues the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is expected to receive from last year’s governance and fiscal reform. Overall, we find that the proposals are consistent with the information the Legislature used as the basis for approving DTSC’s governance and fiscal reform. However, we recommend the Legislature continue to conduct oversight of the programmatic expansions being proposed and to revisit staffing levels in future years.