ERAS previously discussed contamination reporting and how that pertains to California Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs). Contamination is required to be reported to public environmental agencies by the owner within 30 days of its discovery. In accordance with California Health and Safety Code (HSC) Division 20, Chapter 6.95, Section 25510, et seq., “the handler … shall, upon discovery, immediately report any release or threatened release of a hazardous material to the unified program agency.” Generally, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) can serve as or provide a referral to the ‘unified program agency’. The terms handle and handler are defined in HSC 20 Section 25501 paragraphs (l) and (m), respectively.
Contamination found in the subsurface of a Property at any concentration is required to be reported to the appropriate regulatory program, typically the County Environmental Health Department. ERAS is NOT required to report contamination unless there is an obvious imminent threat to human health and safety or the environment. No further investigations or work should be done without the proper regulatory oversight. ERAS always notifies our clients and the Property owner of these legal requirements so that proper decisions can be made regarding Phase 2 investigations and the interested parties are notified of the implications of finding contamination at the Property.