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California Senate Bill 158 – What Is It and Who Is the Board of Environmental Safety?

Posted: November 30th, 2022

Authors: Jessica M. 

On July 13, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 158 (SB 158) into law to address shortcomings of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and to protect the health of exposed communities. The bill aims to improve DTSC with the establishment of the Board of Environmental Safety (BES) which will oversee fees, public hearings, permitting decisions, and conduct analyses on department programs.

The Senate Bill will allocate funds from DTSC General Fund and the Toxic Substances Control Account for work related to contaminated properties, brownfield site response grants, and a job and development training program over the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 fiscal years. Funds from the Toxic Substances Control Account are also authorized to be allocated for the green chemistry program and the administrative and operating costs for the BES.

Among the changes SB 158 set for requirements of hazardous waste facilities with a permit or standardized permit, an essential change was regarding the submittal timeline of renewal applications for permits expiring on or after January 1, 2025. These facilities are now required to submit a Part A and Part B renewal application at least 2 years prior to the permit expiration.

In addition to the establishment of the BES and hazardous waste facility requirement changes, the bill introduces changes to hazardous waste annual fees. The following is a summary of fee changes.

Fee Changes

  1. Disposal Fee: As of July 1, 2022, the disposal fee is no longer required. Land disposal fees were to be paid directly to the hazardous waste disposal facility.
  2. Generator Fee: Effective January 1, 2022, the generator fee has been replaced by the generation and handling fee (GH fee) at $49.25 per ton or each fraction of a ton of hazardous waste produced by generators who produce 5 tons or more of hazardous waste per year. The GH fee includes imported hazardous waste and used oil, items that were previously exempted. The following materials are not hazardous wastes for purposes of fee assessments; hazardous materials that are recycled and used onsite and are not transferred offsite; and aqueous waste treated in a treatment unit operating, or that subsequently operates, pursuant to a permit by rule, or pursuant to H&SC section 25200.3 or 25201.5. For additional GH fee exemptions reference HSC section 25174.8. GH fee prepayment is due November 30th of each year (starting November 30, 2022) and final payment and return are due February 28th of each year. The generator’s prepayment must equal 50 percent of the total amount due for the hazardous waste generation and handling fee for the entire prior calendar year.
  1. Environmental Fee: SB 158 revised the period of assessment of the Environmental Fee from an annual calendar year fee to an annual fiscal year fee, revised the timing that DTSC provides data to California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) from November 1 to October 1, and added a fee exemption for small businesses with less than 100 employees. The FY 2022/23 Environmental fee is due the last day of February 2023 for the fiscal year in which it is assessed, that is, the calculation for number of employees will be based on employees in CY 2022. Rates are specified on the CDTFA website or DTSC’s Fee Summary page.
  1. Full Permit Facility Fee: Beginning July 1, 2022, all facility fee accounts, with full or standardized permits from DTSC, are required to make one prepayment due on or before November 30th and then file a fiscal year return and final payment due on or before the last day of February. SB 158 changes the timing of the fees from a calendar year assessment to a fiscal year assessment. Prepayment must be equal to 50 percent of the applicable hazardous waste facility fee for the current year. Rates are specified on the CDTFA website or DTSC’s Fee Summary page. For example, fiscal year 2022-2023 fee requires a 50 percent prepayment due on November 30, 2022. A final payment with your 2022-23 fiscal year return is due on February 28, 2023.
  1. With regard to manifest and miscellaneous fees, SB 158 does not change the requirement to submit a manifest for transported hazardous waste and does not eliminate the authority to assess the Manifest Reprocessing Fee. SB 158 does eliminate the Manifest User Fee effective January 1, 2022, so no fees will be collected for CY 2022. In order to pay fees and file returns due to CDTFA, generators must complete submittals electronically via the CDTFA website.

Who is on the Board?

SB 158 mandates that the Board of Environmental Safety include five full-time members (three appointees of the governor, one member from the Senate Committee on Rules, and a final member from the speaker of the Assembly). The five members are nominated based on their interest in issues including but not limited to, hazardous waste management, site remediation, pollution prevention and reduction, and their understanding of the potential risks these issues pose to the general public.

If you have questions or want to know how ALL4 can help your organization with California hazardous waste requirements, please reach out to Jessica Malberg at jmalberg@all4inc.com.


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