Section 25416. (Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 870, Sec. 48.)
Cite as: Cal. Health & Safety Code §25416.
(a) All studies and community information programs conducted pursuant to this section shall be done only if either subdivision (b) applies or if funds are available without restructuring the department’s funding priorities. The department shall conduct these studies and information programs in the following manner:
(1) The department shall, except as provided in subdivision (b), and in conjunction with the local health officer, the State Department of Health Services, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, conduct or contract for epidemiological studies to identify and monitor health effects related to exposure to hazardous materials, as defined in Section 66084 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. A study may be conducted in any area of the state identified by the department or the local health officer as a site of potential exposure to hazardous materials, including, but not limited to, any of the following areas:
(A) All communities located near hazardous waste disposal facilities.
(B) In all communities containing hazardous substance release sites listed pursuant to Section 25356 or listed pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et seq.).
(C) In all areas around the location of major generators of hazardous waste.
(D) In all other areas identified by local health officers or the State Department of Health Services as possible locations of public exposure to hazardous materials.
(2) The department, in consultation with the State Department of Health Services and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, shall determine which epidemiological studies are to be conducted pursuant to this section based on the potential for public exposure to hazardous materials. Studies in areas near Class I hazardous waste disposal facilities, as defined in Section 2531 of Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations, shall be given the highest priority for funding. If a hearing is conducted pursuant to Section 25149 and the hearing officer determines that there is a significant potential for endangerment to the public as a result of the suspected or actual release of a hazardous material, the department shall give priority to conducting an epidemiological study for that facility.
(3) If a local health officer determines that a study should be conducted pursuant to this section because of a potential public exposure to hazardous materials, the local health officer may request that the department initiate or contract for a study pursuant to this section by demonstrating to the department that there is sufficient evidence that justifies the need for a study. The department shall respond to the local health officer’s request within 90 days.
(4) A local health officer may contract with qualified persons or firms to produce the epidemiological studies specified in paragraph (1).
(5) The design and methodology of any study conducted pursuant to this section shall be reviewed and approved by the department, the State Department of Health Services, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment prior to the initiation of the study.
(6) In any county in which hazardous waste disposal facilities are located and in all other counties in which the State Department of Health Services identifies significant actual or potential public exposure to hazardous materials, the department shall, in conjunction with the local health officer, conduct or contract for a community information program with respect to sites of potential exposure to hazardous materials identified under paragraph (1) to do all of the following:
(A) Organize and conduct educational programs for local physicians and other health professionals on the effects of exposure to hazardous materials and reporting requirements.
(B) Disseminate information to high risk populations on the health effects of exposure to hazardous materials.
(C) Conduct public forums on the health effects of exposure to hazardous substances and methods of limiting exposure.
(7) Paragraph (6) does not apply to hazardous substance release sites listed on the National Priorities List for which the Environmental Protection Agency has assumed lead responsibility for community relations.
(b) If a county is authorized to impose a license tax pursuant to Section 25149.5 for revenue purposes, the department may require the county to provide funding for carrying out epidemiological studies or the community information program concerning the hazardous waste facility subject to the license tax. The department shall provide the county with technical assistance to conduct an epidemiological study pursuant to this subdivision. The department may exempt a county from the requirements of this subdivision if the county demonstrates to the department that the revenue potential from the facility would not be adequate to conduct an epidemiological study or community information program. When considering a county request for an exemption, the department shall consider the regulatory costs and responsibilities of the county related to that facility.
(c) The department shall expend funds from the Toxic Substances Control Account, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to conduct studies and community information programs in counties containing a hazardous substance release site listed pursuant to Section 25356. The department shall expend funds from the Hazardous Waste Control Account, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to conduct all other studies and community information programs conducted pursuant to this section, except as provided in subdivision (b).