The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

July 2, 2013
California agrees to expand toxic waste landfill, reduce waste

Kettleman.JPGCalifornia's Department of Toxic Substances Control announced today a draft decision to let Chemical Waste Management Inc. expand its Kettleman Hills hazardous waste landfill in Kings County. At the same time, DTSC unveiled an effort to reduce the amounts of hazardous waste that California generates each year and sends to landfills in California and other states.

"We must start the discussion on how we can end or significantly reduce our dependence on landfills and develop sustainable solutions that protect this generation and generations to come," said DTSC Director Debbie Raphael in a statement.

Chemical Waste Management applied to DTSC for a permit to expand its landfill five years ago, and has curtailed truck shipments to the site because of lack of capacity. All the time, exports of hazardous wastes to other states have increased.

Some Kettleman City residents blame the landfill -- the largest of its kind in the West -- for tainting their drinking water and causing birth defects, claims the company disputes. A study by two state agencies was unable to document a link, saying that researchers could "not find a specific cause or environmental exposure among the mothers that would explain the increase in the number of children born with birth defects in Kettleman City."

Bradley Angel of the group Greenaction told the Associated Press that the expansion permit was based on "bogus studies" and "hiding the number of birth defects and infant deaths."

The Bee's Dan Morain's profiled the situation in Kettleman City in March. A Fresno Bee story on DTSC's draft decision can be found here.

Photo of the Kettleman Hills landfill by the Fresno Bee's John Walker.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter