Department of Toxic Substances Control Grants Final Hazardous Waste Permit Modification for Expansion of Kettleman Hills Landfill

After five years of study and review, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) granted a final Hazardous Waste Permit modification for the expansion of the existing Kettleman Hills hazardous waste landfill owned by Chemical Waste Management, Inc. (CWMI). The approval on May 21, 2014, paves the way for the landfill, which is operating near capacity, to increase capacity by five million cubic yards. The landfill is located three and a half miles from Kettleman City in Kings County.

The permit includes stringent conditions aimed at further protecting public health and the environment, including increased monitoring for PCBs and other contaminants, expanded sampling and analysis of liquids captured by the landfill’s subsurface collection system, strict diesel emission standards for trucks using the facility, a containment system to control spills, required aerial and land surveys, and increased inspections. The DTSC permit review process included extensive public involvement, including a lengthy public comment period, and 23 public meetings and interview sessions with people in communities near the facility.

RMM attorneys Andrea K. Leisy and Amanda R. Berlin represented CWMI in litigation challenging the County of King’s certification of a Subsequent EIR for the landfill expansion. The Superior Court of Kings County upheld the adequacy of the EIR in 2011, as did the Fifth District Court of Appeal in 2012. More information about the DTSC decision can be found here.