The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a permit renewal and modification for the continued storage and disposal of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste at the Kettleman Hills hazardous waste facility. The facility is located along the I-5 corridor approximately 3.5 miles southwest of Kettleman City, California. The permit includes comprehensive operating, monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that PCB waste operations are protective of public health and the environment.
EPA’s permit will allow Chemical Waste Management Inc. (CWM), the owner and operator of the Kettleman Hills Facility, to continue storing and disposing of PCB waste. Under the permit, valid for 10 years, the PCB disposal can take place at the existing hazardous waste landfill. This disposal location has already been approved by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The permit decision follows a public comment period and engagement process during which EPA hosted several public meetings and a public hearing.
EPA also prepared an Environmental Justice Analysis to document that environmental justice concerns, including the need for outreach to potentially affected communities to seek their involvement, were considered in the approval of the permit. The document carrying today’s decision includes the EPA’s responses to the 23 people who commented during the public comment period.
The permit and supporting documents are available for review online at https://www.epa.gov/ca/kettleman-hills. Information is also available in Spanish.
PCBs are toxic, manmade chemicals formerly used in electrical equipment. Congress banned the manufacture of PCBs in the U.S. in 1976 due to concerns over environmental and public health hazards. EPA has identified PCBs as probable human carcinogens, and they have also been shown to cause other adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system.