A chemical revolution of nearly 100 years duration continues to leave a toxic legacy for this and future generations in California. Over the last 25 years we have made strides in both environmental protection and in the long-awaited cleanup. The legislative process has emphasized the need to make polluters responsible for a complete and timely cleanup.

Now, a regulatory dismembering of this environmental protection in Washington D.C. is being felt all over the country. Over a year ago, the State of California began discussions directed at limiting the cleanup of contaminated sites, focusing primarily on the Leaking Underground Storage Tank program (LUST). The state is considering a proposed regulatory shift that calls for the creation of zones of pollution called "Containment Zones." A Containment Zone, in simple terms, is a designated area where lower groundwater standards will be allowed because of high levels of pollution.

Some proponents of this policy shift have contended that these proposed changes are a response to a poorly constructed program that has been plagued by over-enforcement. The claim is that the responsible parties (RPs) have become a scapegoat to the program based on bad science, the LUST just a scam, and that active remediation of contaminants is no longer necessary. <Read More>
California's Choice: Containment Zones or Clean Water?
L A Wood, California Environmental Law Reporter, April 1996
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