Provide the highest level of safety, and
The Elmhurst Blight Committee was the first group in DTSC’s EJ Initiative to hold monthly meetings to stay abreast of inspections and other activities and ensure that troubled sites weren’t forgotten or shunted to the back burner. And the East Oakland effort was the first where a criminal investigator from DTSC became the department’s primary enforcement liaison to an EJ community. Investigator Tiffany Chavez par‐ ticipated in inspections, conducted reviews of permits and licenses, coordinated sampling sup‐ port and interviewed people to get information about the community’s environmental concerns.
At one East Oakland auto repair shop, workers were using an Oriental rug to cover the floor under the vehicles. Part of the rug was near spilled fluid (below). A worker said the red liquid was water, but the Oakland Building Services official on the EJ bus tour informed the worker that the rug, especially if soaked with car fluids, was a fire hazard and could not remain. The facility was cited for several environmental violations.
Mission Statement: protect public health and the environment from toxic harm.
The East Oakland EJ community was adept at spotlighting environmental harms in the neighborhood. Of the initial 12 sites that were shown to regulators on the bus tour, all but two were found to have environmental vio‐ lations. Some of the violations were not major, such as not keeping a hazardous materials busi‐ ness plan up to date. But other environmental issues, such as improper or lax management of toxic materials, posed an immediate potential health risk to nearby homes and residents. In one case, the inspection led to the discovery of faulty wiring that could pose a fire hazard.
Types of Environmental Violations Found At Sites Of Community Concern
⇒ Failure to take proper measures to keep
contaminants going into the storm drain ⇒ No hazardous materials business plan or
had an outdated hazardous materials business plan ⇒ No active EPA ID ⇒ Facility had faulty wiring ⇒ Hazardous waste drums were not labeled
correctly, not properly sealed and/or in poor condition ⇒ Did not have proper permits to operate
Government Agencies And The Number Of Sites Where They Did Work