Feb 26 - Environmentalists Urge Governor to Reappoint Environmental Protection Rep

A coalition of state and national environmental organizations has called on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to reappoint the Environmental Protection representative to the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

On March 1, the term of Gary Petersen expires, leaving the statutorily required slot on the state Waste Management and Recycling Regulatory Board vacant.

February 24, 2009

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA

95814

RE: Re-Appointment of Environmentalist Representative--Gary Petersen--to the California Integrated Waste Management Board

 

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

California’s Public Resources Code (PRC 40401) requires the Governor to appoint qualified members to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), with at least one representing a qualified environmental protection organization, and another representing the solid waste industry.

Last year you reappointed a member to fill the four year term for the solid waste industry representative. Many of us supported that appointment and it was confirmed by the legislature.

On March 1, the term of the required environmental protection organization representative (Gary Petersen) will expire. Without the appointment of the environmental representative by the end of this week, policies and decisions of the CIWMB will be made without the direct benefit and involvement of this important and legally required perspective.

We understand that your office will be proposing a reorganization of the activities of CIWMB, and we look forward to reviewing that. Regardless of one’s position on this as yet undefined reorganization, the CIWMB will continue to meet and function in its regulatory capacity for the foreseeable future.

In the next two months alone, the CIWMB will be hearing and considering: several solid waste facility permits; regulatory changes and enforcement actions; policies on landfill closure financial assurance rules; and the expenditure of recycling related grant and contract funds. Without the appointment of the statutorily required environmental protection representative to formally participate in these hearings, we believe that any actions by the board during these hearings will be undermined.

Furthermore, with the appointment and participation of the industry representative, but not the environmental protection representative, we believe that decisions of the CIWMB may lack credibility and be increasingly vulnerable to legal challenge.

February 24, 2009

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You are fortunate to have before you for your reappointment consideration, Gary Petersen. Mr. Petersen has been a respected state and national environmental leader on a wide spectrum of environmental protection and resource conservation issues for more than three decades. He has advised Mayors, State Legislators, Governor’s, and three US Presidents on environmental and sustainability policies. Addition

all y, Mr. Peterson has served as a board member and officer of several non-profit environmental protection organizations, including Heal the Bay, LA Shares, Green Seal, Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Education Program.

We urge you to ensure that the environmental perspective is included in the ongoing work of the CIWMB and urge your re-appointment of

Gary Petersen to the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Thank You

Californians Against Waste

California League of Conservation Voters

California Resource Recovery Association

Coalition for Clean Air

Environmental Defense

Sierra Club California