Environmental Excellence Award

On October 28, 2014, CUPA Forum Board members Bill Jones (Los Angeles County Fire Department) and Mike Vizzier (San Diego Environmental Health) received an Environmental Excellence Award from the Industrial Environmental Association of San Diego on behalf of the CUPA Forum Board (CFB). The CFB is a statewide group that represents all 83 CUPAs and 27 Participating Agencies. This award was for the efforts and leadership in rewriting an entire portion of the California Health and Safety Code dealing with business plans and inventory requirements.

In this multiple year process, Bill Jones, as the legislative issue coordinator, chaired and led an effort that at times involved over 100 participants from State agencies, unified program agencies, prosecutors, the farm bureau, schools and universities, businesses and industries with facilities throughout the State including large retailers, utilities, manufacturing and others required to comply with the law.

The changes involved two bills (SB 483 effective January 2014 and SB 1261, effective January 2015 by Senator Hana Beth Jackson) sponsored by the California Association of Environmental Health Administrators (CAEHA), Cal Chief's and the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB-who joined in sponsoring SB 1261). The changes were broad and sweeping to update outdated provisions, remove areas that were no longer applicable, consolidate like sections that had provisions scattered throughout the chapter, include new electronic reporting requirements, exclude businesses and chemicals that the group felt should not be included in the program, add new definitions, better define remote site requirements, and add certain enforcement provisions.

In this collaborative effort, thousands of hours by a multitude of workgroups and breakouts led a State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials consultant to say this was a "model approach to legislation". After all was done, the Chapter was reduced in volume by a third, which speaks to the consolidation and elimination of outdated language.

In the awards luncheon, a short video was shown that highlighted the efforts of the CFB and all the stakeholders involved in the legislative process. The CFB thanks all who were involved in this effort, including the many staff in our collective agencies, our business stakeholders, our CAEHA and Cal-Chief's partners and CCEEB for their tireless commitment and dedication to rewrite Chapter 6.95.