Tuesday, October 12, 2004

About the California Environmental Protection Agency


I have to write a paper evaluating the organizational structure of the California EPA. First off, I'm shocked to learn that it was only recently created (1991). For a state with a reputation for being progressive on environmental issues, waiting until the early 90s to create its own agency makes it seem like the state was a bit late getting to the table, doesn't it? The Federal EPA was established in 1970 .

Yeah, I'm sketching out my paper and blogging it. You'll come to hate it and skip right over these posts. But if the blog can't do double duty as the clipboard of my mind, then what good is it?

The following departments, offices and commissions comprise the Cal/EPA:
    Air Resources Board--you know these guys, they're the ones in charge of emissions standards and they routinely piss off automakers. To whom I say: You are irresponsible bastards with no regard for your children or their children and you should be ashamed of your greedy bastard selves.

    Department of Pesticide Regulation-- no DDT!

    Department of Toxic Substances-- no point source pollution, no mercury, no superfund sites.

    Integrated Waste Management Board-- Landfills. Pick up your trash. Recycle! Compost.

    Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment--Is there naturally occurring asbestos here? Why are all the kids in this neighborhood being diagnosed with leukemia? Should we refer this to the Toxic Waste department? Why are all the fish in Lake Natoma full of mercury and should we stop people from fishing here?

    State Water Resources Control Board-- The worst job on earth? Here LA, take all our water. You live in a desert. Stop having babies! (They don't really say that last part.)

Hmmm. For a 13 year-old organization, the Cal/EPA has a fair amount of specialization. I'm not seeing a flat organization much at all. I suspect that a lot of coordination amongst the different divisions is necessary, however. I bet they have to work with many other government entities.

This project will be fun!

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