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Inventory of the California State Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee Records
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Committee History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Inventory of the California State Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee Records
    Dates: 1980-2010
    Collection number: see series description
    Creator: Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee Assembly Consumer Protection and Toxic Materials Committee
    Collection Size: 56.5 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee Records consist of approximately 56.5 cubic feet of textual records and audio-visual materials. The records cover the years 1980-2010 and are comprised of Bill Files, Hearing Files, Subject Files, and Correspondence.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information

    Access

    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], [Committee Name], LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Committee History

    The California State Assembly first considered bills relating to toxics and the environment during the 1979-1980 legislative session when the Assembly Toxic Substances subcommittee was created under the Assembly Labor, Employment, and Consumer Affairs Committee. By passage of House Resolution 15 on January 29, 1980, the Assembly Rules Committee created an independent committee for toxics legislation called the Assembly Consumer Protection and Toxic Materials Committee.
    The eight members of the committee on Consumer Protection and Toxic Material generally considered bills relating to product safety, toxic and chemical hazards, and environmental pollutants. At the start of the 1985-1986 session, House Resolution 9 briefly divided the committee in two, creating both the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee and the Assembly Toxic Materials Committee. By mid-January however, the 15-member committee was rejoined under the current name of Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.
    Senator Sally Tanner (D) served as the Committee's first Chairwoman from 1981-1992 and was subsequently followed Tom Umberg (D, 1993-1996), Howard Wayne (D, 1997-1998), Hannah-Beth Jackson (D, 1999-2002), John Laird (D, 2003-2004), Ira Ruskin (D, 2005-2006), Jared Huffman (D, 2007-2008), Wesley Chesbro (D, 2009-2010), Bob Wieckowski (D, 2011-2012), and Luis A. Alejo (D, 2013-2014).

    Scope and Content

    The Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee Records consist of approximately 56.5 cubic feet of textual records and audio-visual materials. The records cover the years 1980-2010 and are comprised of Bill Files, Hearing Files, Subject Files, and Correspondence. It is anticipated that the Archives will receive further records from the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, as it remains a functional standing committee in the California State Assembly. Researchers should inquire with the reference archivist about recently received, unprocessed records of the committee.
    The records created by the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee will be of great interest to researchers looking at environmental regulation from the 1980s through the 2000s. With environmental disasters like the Love Canal, Chernobyl, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill gaining global attention, legislation passed in California reflected new concerns for chemicals and their potential for damage to natural resources.
    The majority of records consist of bill files that cover the years 1980-2010. Committee hearing files span from 1980-2006 and comprise approximately six cubic feet of the collection. Furthermore, there are approximately two cubic feet of subject files from the years 1993-2005 that contain records on specific toxic materials like asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls.
    Most frequently bills reviewed by the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee pertain to the regulation of toxic material storage, transportation, and cleanup, and also include issues concerning the designation of Superfund sites. Files also deal with establishing standards for industries, especially those involved in fire protection, pipeline safety, and waste disposal. Numerous files concern issues such as marine pollution, toxic air contaminants, and ground use for hazardous waste storage.
    Many of the bills considered by the committee drew substantial public interest. However, two bills in particular were the basis for a significant amount of outside opinion. Assembly Bill 733 from 1995-1996 concerning state mandated drinking water fluoridation and Senate Bill 521 from 1995-1996 concerning Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) fuel additive received a considerable amount of public correspondence.
    Along with these bills, the researcher may also be interested in looking at a significant hearing that occurred during the committee's 1985-1986 session. The oversight hearing on the Willco Dump took place in Los Angeles County in the district of Assemblywoman Maxine Waters. They investigated claims that while constructing the Century Freeway (Interstate 5) through a former refuse site known as Willco, the California Department of Transportation may have deliberately understated quantities of toxic materials they found and had removed through questionable contractual agreements. The hearing files consist of over a cubic foot of records, which includes audiotapes and transcribed accounts of the hearing.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee
    Waste disposal.
    Drinking water

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Sally Tanner Papers
    Howard Wayne Papers
    Hannah-Beth Jackson Papers