Special Operations Section
The Heath Hazardous Materials Division Special Operations Section is comprised of the following units: Investigations Unit, CalARP Unit, and Site Mitigation Unit.
The Investigations Unit (IU) conducts investigations of emergency incidents, inspections, or complaints alleging potential misdemeanor and felony violations of local, State, and federal hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws and regulations. The IU is responsible for conducting surveillance, collecting physical and chemical evidence, and interviewing witnesses, informants, and respondents.
In some situations, the IU prepares and executes search warrants in order to collect the necessary evidence for a successful case. After collecting and evaluating the evidence, the investigators assemble and submit the case reports to the jurisdictional prosecutorial office for case filing. In some cases, the investigators are summoned to testify in court as expert witnesses to attest the facts and findings of the investigation. In addition to submitting civil and criminal cases, the IU conducts administrative enforcement cases for lesser degree violations that do not warrant criminal charges. The IU represents the Department as an active member in the City Attorney, District Attorney, and U.S. Attorney Environmental Strike Force committees.
-The Health Hazardous Materials Division’s CalARP Unit administers the CalARP program at stationary sources that handle regulated substances (listed flammable and toxic hazardous materials) in aggregates above threshold quantities. The regulated substances at these stationary sources have been determined to possibly cause the greatest risk of harm to the public and environment. The program requires owner(s)/operator(s) at these stationary sites to complete and submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP) to reduce the risk of accidental releases. CalARP Unit staff review and approve Risk Management and Safety Plans for applicable program components, audit facilities by conducting site inspections, and review root cause analysis and incident investigations after an accidental release of regulated substances from a covered process.
Site Mitigation Unit
The Site Mitigation Unit (SMU) reviews and approves assessment and mitigation work plans for sites contaminated with hazardous substances. These sites can be active or closed businesses where years of past mismanagement practices may have led to various levels of contamination in impacted soils and groundwater. SMU staff oversee the work of private environmental consultants to ensure that the appropriate remedial action and cleanup standards are met to protect public health and the environment.