BILL NUMBER: SB 732 AMENDED
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY SEPTEMBER 7, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 31, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 28, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 27, 2007
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 4, 2007
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 25, 2007
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 15, 2007
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 17, 2007
INTRODUCED BY Senator Steinberg
(Principal coauthor: Senator Negrete McLeod)
(Coauthor: Senator Wiggins)
FEBRUARY 23, 2007
An act to amend Sections 75076 and 75077 of, and to add Chapter 12
(commencing with Section 75100) and Chapter 13 (commencing with
Section 75120) to Division 43 of, the Public Resources Code, and to
amend Section 10533 of, and to add Section 10544.5 to, the Water
Code, relating to the environment.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
SB 732, as amended, Steinberg. Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality
and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of
(1) The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood
Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, an initiative
statute approved by the voters at the November 7, 2006, statewide
general election makes about $5.4 billion in bond funds available for
safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control,
natural resource protection, and park improvements.
This bill would require the various departments that are to
implement the provisions of the initiative, among other things, to
develop and adopt guidelines and regulations, consult with other
entities, conduct studies, and follow certain procedures for
establishing a project, grant, loan or other financial assistance
program implementing the initiative.
The bill would specify various requirements for the expenditure of
bond funds for nature education and research facilities.
The bill would create the Sustainable Communities Council
(council) in state government. The bill would specify the council’s
responsibilities, including responsibilities related to bond funds
available pursuant to the initiative for urban greening and planning
grants and incentives for the development of regional and local land
The bill would require, by January 1, 2009, and on or before
January 1 of each year thereafter, each state agency expending funds
pursuant to the initiative for a project, grant, or loan to report to
the Legislature on the recipient and amount of each project, grant,
or loan awarded during the previous fiscal year.
The bill would provide that in any case in which the provisions of
the bill and the initiative conflict, the initiative shall prevail.
(2) The Integrated Regional Water Management Planning Act of 2002
defines terms for its purposes, including defining “local public
agency” as a city, county, city and county, special district,
corporation, or mutual water company.
The bill would revise that definition to delete the inclusion of a
corporation in the definition, and to add an investor-owned utility
regulated by the Public Utilities Commission in the definition.
If the Department of Water Resources finds it necessary or
desirable to revise or replace the Integrated Regional Water
Management Guidelines, the bill would require it to develop new or
revised guidelines in consultation with specified entities, and
pursuant to other specified provisions enacted by the bill.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 75076 of the Public Resources Code is amended
75076. Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of
Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code does not apply to the
development and adoption of program guidelines and selection criteria
adopted pursuant to this division.
SEC. 2. Section 75077 of the Public Resources Code is amended to
75077. Funds provided pursuant to this division, and any
appropriation or transfer of those funds, shall not be deemed to be a
transfer of funds for the purposes of Chapter 9 (commencing with
Section 2780) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code.
SEC. 3. Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 75100) is added to
Division 43 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
CHAPTER 12. IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS
Article 1. General Provisions
75100. (a) (1) Each state agency disbursing a competitive grant
pursuant to this division shall develop project solicitation and
evaluation guidelines. The guidelines may include a limitation on the
size of a competitive grant to be awarded.
(2) Prior to disbursing a competitive grant, each state agency
shall conduct at least one public meeting to consider public comments
prior to finalizing the guidelines. Each state agency shall publish
the draft solicitation and evaluation guidelines on its Internet Web
site at least 30 days before the public meetings. Meetings shall be
held at geographically appropriate locations. For statewide programs,
one meeting shall be conducted at a location in northern California
and one meeting shall be conducted at a location in southern
California. Upon adoption, each state agency shall transmit copies of
the guidelines to the fiscal committees and the appropriate policy
committees of the Legislature. To the extent feasible, each state
agency shall provide outreach to disadvantaged communities to promote
access and participation in those meetings.
(3) The guidelines may include a requirement for the applicant to
illustrate an ongoing commitment of financial resources, unless the
purposes of awarding a grant financed by this division is to assist a
(4) The guidelines shall require a new grant solicitation for each
funding cycle. Each funding cycle shall consider only those
applications received as a part of the solicitation for that funding
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a state agency, in lieu of
adopting guidelines pursuant to subdivision (a), may use guidelines
existing on January 1, 2007.
75101. (a) For the purposes of implementing Section 75025, the
State Department of Health Care Services shall do all of the
(1) Develop guidelines pursuant to Section 75100 in collaboration
with the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the state board.
(2) In collaboration with the Department of Toxic Substances
Control and the state board, develop and adopt regulations governing
the repayment of costs that are subsequently recovered from parties
responsible for the contamination.
(b) For the purposes of implementing subdivision (a) of Section
75050, the Department of Fish and Game, when funding a natural
community conservation plan, shall fund only the development of a
natural community conservation plan that is consistent with the
Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing
with Section 2800) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code).
(c) The San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy may use the funds made
available pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 75060 to restore the
salt ponds in the south San Francisco Bay and to create trails and
visitor facilities for public use in that area.
75102. Before the adoption of a negative declaration or
environmental impact report required under Section 75070, the lead
agency shall notify the proposed action to a California Native
American tribe, which is on the contact list maintained by the Native
American Heritage Commission, if that tribe has traditional lands
located within the area of the proposed project.
75103. It is the intent of the Legislature that any public funds
made available by this division to investor-owned utilities regulated
by the Public Utilities Commission should be for the benefit of the
ratepayers or the public and not the investors pursuant to oversight
by the Public Utilities Commission.
75104. State agencies that are authorized to award a loan or
grant financed by this division shall provide technical assistance
with regard to the preparation of an application for a loan or grant
in a manner that, among other things, addresses the needs of
economically disadvantaged communities.
Article 2. Statewide Water Planning and Design
75110. In implementing Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 75041),
the department, in collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers
and the operators of the flood control and water supply facilities
that affect the operation of the state plan for flood control, shall
do both of the following:
(a) (1) Conduct a study to reduce flood risks and increase water
supply reliability, throughout the Sacramento River and San Joaquin
River watersheds by reoperating the existing flood management and
water supply facilities.
(2) The study required by this subdivision shall also investigate
options to do all of the following:
(A) Optimize the conjunctive use of groundwater basins with flood
management and water supply facilities.
(B) Improve water quality.
(C) Improve fish, wildlife, and habitat protection and
(3) The department shall complete the study on or before July 1,
2009, and present a report describing the results of the study to the
(b) Develop a real-time flood forecasting model, integrating the
operations of flood control facilities that affect the operation of
the state plan for flood control. The model shall be capable of both
real-time forecasts and simulations for alternative operational
scenarios and shall be operational on or before November 1,
2009 2013 .
75111. In implementing Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 75041),
the department shall, in concert with the lead scientist of the
California Bay-Delta Authority and the Independent Science Board,
develop two or more hydrology data sets designed to evaluate
plausible climate change scenarios. Upon development of the hydrology
data sets, the department shall, within one year from the date when
those data sets are developed, update the studies developed pursuant
to this article to reflect the climate change hydrology data sets and
report the results to the Legislature.
Article 3. The Nature Education and Museums Act of 2007
75112. (a) The Department of Parks and Recreation shall develop
and implement a competitive grant program to allocate funds made
available pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 75063. This article
shall be known, and may be cited, as the Nature Education and Museums
Act of 2007.
(b) Eligible parties may include public institutions, including
local public institutions, and nonprofit organizations that have
missions that meet one or more of the following objectives:
(1) To combine the study of natural science with preservation.
(2) To serve diverse populations with demonstration and nature
(3) To provide collections and programs involving the relationship
of Native American cultures to the environment.
(4) To research marine wildlife conservation.
(c) Eligible projects may include new and existing facilities and
equipment for nature education and research. Grants shall not be
awarded for ongoing activities.
(d) The Department of Parks and Recreation, in evaluating an
application for a grant under this article, shall give additional
consideration for each of the following criteria that the grant
(1) Serves underserved communities, including, but not limited to,
disadvantaged communities with limited access to parks and nature
education facilities, or communities with low educational
(2) Designed to increase accessibility to the facility, including,
but not limited to, partnerships with public education institutions
or public transit availability.
(3) Illustrates an ongoing commitment of financial resources to
(4) Utilizes the United States Green Building Council’s building
(e) The grant program shall allow for several granting cycles.
(f) To accommodate a wide range of projects, the Department of
Parks and Recreation may establish a tiered grant maximum schedule
based on factors including the number of visitor days served by the
Article 4. Sustainable Communities and Climate Change
75114. (a) The Sustainable Communities Council is established in
state government. For purposes of this article, “council” means
Sustainable Communities Council. The council consists of the
Secretary of the Resources Agency, the Secretary for Environmental
Protection, the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing,
and two members of the public appointed by the Governor.
(b) The two public members shall each serve a term of four years
and may be reappointed to one additional term. The public members
shall be appointed on the basis of their educational and professional
qualifications and their general knowledge of and interest in
sustainable community planning.
(c) Except as provided in this section, members of the council
shall serve without compensation. A member shall be reimbursed for
actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or
her duties, and in addition shall be compensated at one hundred
dollars ($100) for each day during which the member is engaged in the
performance of official duties of the council. Payment for actual
and necessary expenses shall be paid only to the extent that those
expenses are not provided or payable by another public agency. The
total number of days for which a member may be compensated shall not
exceed 25 days in any one fiscal year.
75115. The Secretary of the Resources Agency is the chair of the
75116. One member of the Senate, appointed by the Senate
Committee on Rules, and one Member of the Assembly, appointed by the
Speaker of the Assembly, shall meet with the council and may
participate on the council to the extent that participation is not
inconsistent with their respective offices as Members of the
75117. (a) The council’s meetings shall be open to the public and
shall be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, Article 9
(commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3
of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(b) The council may sponsor conferences, symposia, and other
public forums, to seek a broad range of public advice when
establishing priorities for land use, community, and natural resource
75118. The council shall do all of the following:
(a) Coordinate activities of member state agencies to best improve
air and water quality, improve natural resource protection, increase
the availability of affordable housing, improve transportation, meet
the goals of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
(Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and
Safety Code), and encourage sustainable land use planning.
(b) Recommend policies to the Legislature and to appropriate state
agencies that will encourage the development of sustainable
communities. Sustainable communities are designed to improve
residents’ quality of life and environment by accomplishing goals
that may include improving air and water quality, improving natural
resources protection, improving recreational opportunities and green
space, increasing the availability of affordable housing, and
reducing automobile use and fuel consumption.
(c) Develop, manage, and provide data and information to local
governments that will assist local governments in developing and
planning sustainable communities.
(d) Develop and implement financial assistance programs to support
the planning and development of sustainable communities as described
in Sections 75118.1, 75118.2, 75118.3, 75118.4, 75118.5, and
75118.6. At a minimum, the programs shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide guidelines for awarding financial assistance,
including criteria for eligibility and additional consideration.
(2) Provide criteria for determining the amount of financial
assistance to be awarded. The council shall award a revolving loan to
an applicant for a planning project, unless the council determines
that the applicant lacks the fiscal capacity to carry out the project
without a grant.
(3) Provide for payments of interest on loans made pursuant to
this article. The rate of interest shall not exceed the rate earned
by the Pooled Money Investment Board.
(4) Provide for the time period for repaying a loan made pursuant
to this article.
(5) Provide for the recovery of funds from a city or a county that
fails to complete the project for which financial assistance was
awarded. The council shall direct the Controller to recover funds by
any available means.
(6) Provide technical assistance for application preparation.
(7) Convene an advisory group for each of the financial assistance
programs to advise the council in the development of program
guidelines. Members of the advisory group may include representatives
of cities, counties, councils of governments, and tribal governments
of California Native American tribes that have reservations or
rancherias within the state.
(8) Designate a state agency or department to administer each of
the financial assistance programs, such as the Department of
Conservation, the Department of Finance, or the Office of Planning
75118.1. (a) The council shall develop a program to award
financial assistance to cities and counties for preparing and
adopting general plans that are designed to promote water
conservation, reduce automobile use and fuel consumption, encourage
greater infill and compact development, protect natural resources and
agricultural lands, revitalize urban and community centers, and
other state environmental programs. Financial assistance for this
purpose shall be funded from moneys made available pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 75065.
(b) For purposes of this section, preparing and adopting general
plans shall include the preparation, adoption, and amendment of
general plans pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65300)
and Article 6 (commencing with Section 65350) of Chapter 3 of
Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code, including the
application of geographic information systems, as well as compliance
with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13
(commencing with Section 21000)).
(c) Financial assistance pursuant to this section shall not exceed
one-half of the costs of preparing and adopting the general plan.
(d) In its application to the council for financial assistance
pursuant to this section, a city or a county shall do all of the
(1) Submit and declare its intention to follow a detailed budget
and schedule for the preparation and adoption of its general plan.
The budget and schedule shall be of sufficient detail to allow the
council to assess the progress of the city or the county at regular
(2) Declare its intention to prepare and adopt, a general plan
that will be consistent with either of the following:
(A) A Regional Blueprint Project funded by a Regional Blueprint
Planning Grant distributed through the Department of Transportation
as part of the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Public
Law 109-59), if one exists.
(B) The regional transportation planning requirements of Section
65080 of the Government Code.
(3) Declare its intention to review and, when necessary, revise
its general plan at least every 10 years after the adoption of the
general plan funded pursuant to this section.
(e) The program shall give additional consideration to an
application pursuant to this section from a city or a county that
adopts a resolution that declares its intent to do each of the
(1) Prepare and adopt its general plan in collaboration with the
county and all of the cities in the same county.
(2) Prepare and adopt its general plan in collaboration with all
of the cities in the same council of governments or in the same
subregional council of governments. The council may request a council
of governments to review and endorse applications for financial
assistance by cities and counties on the basis of their priorities
for implementation of Regional Blueprint Projects or similar regional
(3) Impose fees pursuant to Section 65104 and subdivision (b) of
Section 66014 of the Government Code to generate revenue to pay for a
portion of the costs that are reasonably necessary to review, and,
if necessary, revise the general plan funded pursuant to this
(f) The council may develop additional minimum requirements for
general plans that may be awarded funds pursuant to the program,
including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Implementation of the state’s planning policies set by Section
65041.1 of the Government Code.
(2) Healthy community initiatives, including community greening
and safe routes to schools.
(3) Meets applicable air quality implementation plans.
(4) Plans urban trails that provide safe routes for both
recreation and for travel between residences, schools, commercial
centers, and workplaces, including regional recreation corridors.
(5) Reduces greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the
California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5
(commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code).
75118.2. (a) The council shall develop a program to award
financial assistance to cities and counties for implementing general
plans that, at a minimum, meet the requirements of general plans that
are eligible to receive funds under Section 75118.1. Financial
assistance for this purpose shall be funded from moneys made
available pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 75065.
(b) For the purposes of this section, preparing and adopting
programs to implement city or county general plans shall include the
preparation and adoption of planning documents and compliance with
the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing
with Section 21000)).
(c) Eligible implementation projects include, but are not limited
to, all of the following:
(1) Master environmental impact reports.
(2) Specific plans.
(3) Habitat conservation plans.
(4) Zoning ordinances.
(5) Optional general plan elements, including, but not limited to,
agricultural or rangeland elements.
(d) Financial assistance awarded pursuant to this section shall
not exceed one-half of the project’s cost.
75118.3. (a) The council shall develop a program to award
financial assistance to councils of governments, countywide
authorities, and metropolitan planning organizations to support the
preparation and adoption of regional blueprint planning programs.
(b) Financial assistance for this purpose shall be funded from
moneys made available pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 75065.
(c) In awarding financial assistance pursuant to this section, the
council shall give first priority to councils of governments,
countywide authorities, and metropolitan planning organizations that
were not previously eligible to receive a Regional Blueprint Planning
Grant distributed through the Department of Transportation as part
of the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Public Law 109-59).
(d) Financial assistance to a council of governments, a countywide
authority, or a metropolitan planning organization pursuant to this
section shall not exceed 50 percent of the costs of preparing and
adopting a regional blueprint planning program or regional growth
(e) All applications for financial assistance pursuant to this
section shall do both of the following:
(1) Submit and declare its intention to follow a detailed budget
and schedule for the preparation, adoption, and implementation of its
regional blueprint planning program. The budget and schedule shall
be of sufficient detail to allow the council to assess the progress
of the program at regular intervals.
(2) Prepare and adopt a regional blueprint planning program that
will be consistent with the regional transportation planning
requirements of Section 65080 of the Government Code, if applicable.
(f) The council may develop additional minimal requirements for
regional plans that may be awarded financial assistance from the
75118.4. (a) The council shall develop a program to award
financial assistance to councils of governments, countywide
authorities, and metropolitan planning organizations to support the
implementation of regional blueprint planning programs.
(b) Financial assistance for this purpose shall be funded from
moneys made available pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 75065.
(c) Financial assistance awarded pursuant to this section shall
not exceed one-half of the project’s cost.
(d) Eligible implementation projects include, but are not limited
to, all of the following:
(1) Improvements to the identification of natural resources, open
space, and agricultural lands.
(2) Identification of opportunities for increased transportation
(3) Planning for mixed-use and other projects that accommodate
housing opportunities for persons and families of all income levels.
(4) Projects that assist in reducing air pollution and greenhouse
(e) The council shall award financial assistance only to projects
that implement a regional blueprint that meets the minimum
requirements for plans developed under Section 75118.3.
(f) The council may develop additional minimum requirements for
projects that may be awarded financial assistance from the program.
75118.5. (a) The council shall develop and implement a grant
program for urban greening projects that shall distribute moneys made
available pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 75065.
(b) The purpose of the grant program is to improve the
sustainability and livability of communities through projects with
multiple benefits, including, but not limited to, urban forestry and
(c) The program shall offer grants to eligible cities, counties,
and nonprofit organizations for projects that decrease air and water
pollution, reduce natural resource and energy use, or improve
adaptability to climate change. Eligible projects shall not include
mitigation actions that are required under existing law.
(d) The council shall develop minimum requirements for eligible
projects. At a minimum, the requirements shall require both of the
(1) Applicants to utilize natural systems to achieve project
(2) The creation, enhancement, and expansion of community green
spaces that provide multiple benefits that include, but are not
limited to, the enhancement of at least one of the following:
(A) Tree canopy.
(B) Urban forestry.
(C) Local parks and open space.
(D) Greening of existing public lands and schools.
(E) Multiobjective stormwater projects, including construction of
(F) Urban stream restoration and enhancement.
(G) River parkway urban development and improvement.
(H) Green roofs.
(I) Community , demonstration, or outdoor education
gardens and orchards.
(J) Urban heat island mitigation and energy conservation through
(e) The council shall give additional consideration to a project
for each of the following criteria met:
(1) The project utilizes interagency cooperation and integration.
(2) The project is within a jurisdiction with a general plan that
has been updated within the 10 years previous to the date of
application in a manner that is consistent with the minimum general
plan requirements in Section 75118.1.
(3) The project uses existing public lands and facilitates use of
public resources and investments including schools.
(f) Up to 25 percent of the moneys allocated to the program may be
used to award revolving loans or grants to cities and counties for
the purpose of creating urban greening plans that will serve as the
master document guiding and coordinating greening projects through
the applicant’s jurisdiction. These urban greening plans shall be
consistent with the jurisdiction’s general plan.
75118.6. The council shall grant to the California Coastal
Commission a minimum of 3 percent, up to a total of five million
dollars ($5,000,000), of the moneys appropriated to the council from
subdivision (c) of Section 75065. The California Coastal Commission
shall use the moneys to grant local public agencies assistance in
completing or updating local coastal programs consistent with Chapter
6 (commencing with Section 30500) of Division 20.
75118.7. Nothing in this article grants the council authority to
impinge in any way on local governments’ land use authority.
SEC. 4. Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 75120) is added to
Division 43 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
CHAPTER 13. REPORTING PROVISIONS
75120. On or before January 1, 2009, and on or before January 1
of each year thereafter, each state agency expending funds pursuant
to this division for a project, grant, or loan shall report to the
Legislature on the recipient and amount of each project, grant, or
loan awarded during the previous fiscal year. The information shall
include the total amount awarded, categorized by project, grant, or
loan, the geographic distribution of a project, grant, or loan
awarded under this division, and the intended public and
environmental benefit that the award provides. The information also
shall include data on the balance of a fund available under this
division for expenditures and grants in that fiscal year and future
SEC. 5. Section 10533 of the Water Code is amended to read:
10533. “Local public agency” means any city, county, city and
county, special district, investor-owned utility regulated by the
Public Utilities Commission, or mutual water company.
SEC. 6. Section 10544.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:
10544.5. If the department finds it necessary or desirable to
revise or replace the Integrated Regional Water Management
Guidelines, it shall do
both of the following:
(a) Develop new or revised guidelines in consultation with the
board, the California Bay-Delta Authority, the Department of Fish and
Game, and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(b) Develop new or revised guidelines pursuant to Section 75100 of
the Public Resources Code.
SEC. 7. In any case in which any of the provisions of this act,
and Division 43 (commencing with Section 75001) of the Public
Resources Code conflict, that division shall prevail.
SEC. 8. The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision
of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity
shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given
effect without the invalid provision or application.
According to the Maine agriculture commissioner, mold is afflicting raspberries, beans. “The wind blows mold spores and inoculates everything”
The incessant July rains have ruined much of the crop. Continued rain could be ruinous for both raspberries and green beans. The state has received above-normal rainfall both for the year and the month of July — when raspberries and beans reach maturity.
Mold was discovered in the basement of the village’s police department. The village hasn’t been fined–YET.
It could take up to two months before the basement will be open again to personnel. Cleanup work us expected to cost between $15,000 and $20,000. Two companies have assessed the water damage and extent of the mold growth.
Terre Haute North High School tested their water which was fine, but found mold in a crawlspace. The mold is being removed during the summer and should be gone before school starts, according to the risk manager of Vigo County School.
A huge real estate problem in So. Cal (and many other areas of the US) are those hidden toxins. From (24,000 in Los Angeles and Orange counties) leaky oil wells in backyards, solid-waste landfills near homes and (83 in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura ) abandoned meth labs to superfund proximity, a real concern about a new property is exactly how polluted the location could be.
You can always go online do a (brownfield) superfund search, but what about the onetime military base, dry cleaner, former factory loft? And don’t forget about mold… Now you can get a detailed environmental hazards report before purchasing a property; and if you do choose to buy, get multiple bids on remediation.
For years, Bobby Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Mary, have battled a deadly fungus that had infested their Westchester County home. But finally, they gave up the fight and moved to a rental while they raze their property.
They are replacing it with a state-of-the-art green home whose construction will be supervised by “This Old House” star Bob Vila for a 13-part TV series.
One question though.
Is recycling every nail and piece of plasterboard from their old, mold-invested place really the smartest thing to do? It may bring a whole new meaning to “green” building.
They will also be using recycled materials from a Dutchess County mental institution.
The building at 25-A N. Main St. has been deemed uninhabitable due to “excessive mold”; inspectors found a leaky roof, which contributed to mold and smoke and water damage from a nearby fire. The deadline for compliance is Saturday, July 26. As of Wednesday, carpet was removed and painting had begun.
Vicki Rabe, who owns Victoria’s Pet Nutrition Center and Boutique, left the building due to mold and maintenance issues, including a leaky roof and spreading mold. Rabe suffered fatigue, illness, coughing and respiratory problems as the mold grew worse.
After apparent mold was discovered during routine maintenance of 11 mobile homes at two central Indiana mobile home parks, Federal Emergency Management Agency notified residents of FEMA-provided mobile homes that mold was believed to have grown on the exterior water heater compartments. That discovery leads to mold inspections of 700 other mobile homes brought out of storage for Indiana’s June flood victims.
The access panels were clad in aluminum, but the interior was drywall, a material which makes the panels prone to becoming damp and fostering the growth of mold.
There was no mold in the trailers at all and none in the living space, only in the water heater compartments.
Familiar news rears its head again: Daniel Island homes are contaminated with mold and have the families tangled up in a legal battle with mega home builder D.R. Horton. Toxic mold drives out the Allen family; the home needs upwards of $200,000 of remediation. Read more.
Long time health inspector and environmental health specialist Dan Pauluk was literally eaten alive from the inside out by toxic mold, aspergillus and stachybotrys. According to his death certificate, he died from mixed mold micotoxicosis, a medical term meaning mold poisoning.
There were water leaks over his desk; in the Health District’s main auditorium parts of the ceiling collapsed. The roof design channeled water back into the existing roof which was never repaired.
The Pauluk family has an ongoing lawsuit with evidence dating back to 1998; the Health District’s own studies show the presence of mold in the building and the need for remediation.
“The regulations state that you will vacate the building, remove all occupants and then relocate them to another building and that no one will go back in that building without a full respirator and a moon suit and it will be cleaned up according to EPA standards.”
In 2004, Dan requested to be be relocated away from the building until the mold was addressed. Nine months supervisors noted another roof leak over Dan’s desk.
His doctor sent letters saying his illness “is a natural conclusion of his exposure to the toxic mold found present at his workplace.” Dan was never relocated away from the mold.
Dan still was not moved.
On July 17, 2007, 12 noon Dan was pronounced dead. The federal lawsuit that says the Southern Nevada Health District failed to protect their own employees in their own building may be continuing for a long time.
Tricothecene mycotoxins (toxic mold) grows on walls, behind walls, in the ceilings, under the carpets, in ductwork and crawnspaces.
Why do experts suggest you need to test after remediation to make sure it has all been removed?
Because common evidence of trichothecene toxicity are depression of immune responses and nausea, vomiting plus the usual respiratory culprits. Trichothecene mycotoxicosis was first recognized to be connected with alimentary toxic aleukia in the USSR in 1932. It is still dangerous but no longer has a 60% mortality rate.
- Trichothecenes are 40 times more toxic when inhaled than when consumed orally.
- Trichothecenes are found in air samples collected during the drying and milling process on farms, in the ventilation systems of private houses and office buildings, and on the walls of houses with high humidity.
- Trichothecene is sometimes part of the “sick building syndrome”.
- Trichothecenes include mycotoxins produced by Fusarium, Myrothecium, Trichoderma, Trichothecium, Cephalosporium, Verticimonosporium, and Stachybotrys.
- Mycotoxin analyses of bulk environmental samples are now commercially available through environmental microbiology laboratories in the United States.
John Craig died less than two weeks before Brooklyn City Controller William Thompson released a report that found unsafe conditions at the health club where Craig worked, including dangerous mold, blocked fire exits and exposed electrical outlets in the day care rooms. According to Craig/s family, long term exposure to dangerous mold contributed to his death. A lawsuit against city-owned Paerdegat Athletic Club is pending.
The New York State Toxic Mold Task Force convened in Manhattan for a daylong meeting on economic and health impacts associated with mold. Concerned about adverse health effects connected to mold, demonstrators gathered outside the meeting, upset that they had been blocked from attending the open meeting. (The demonstrators said they had registered to attend, but were told there was no record of their having done so.)
In 2007, the New York State Toxic Mold Task Force prepared a report for the governor and the Legislature, it’s first act, though it has been in existence since 2005.
Speaking on behalf of his department, task force member (research scientist with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) Christopher D’Andrea presented an update on guidelines on how to find and get rid of mold.
New York received about 20,000 mold complaints each year and issued 14,000 citations. Professional remediators in appropriate protective gear were recommended in places where mold has spread over 100 square feet.
In the afternoon session, witnesses described their experiences, both professional and personal, with mold. New research was presented that associated mold with other disorders, from asthma, to depression and neurological conditions.
John Craig, 36, was a personal trainer who worked six days a week for six years at the city-owned Paerdegat Athletic Club in Canarsie, died there in March after collapsing. The family believes exposure to toxic mold over long hours at work contributed to Craig’s death.
Larry Kramer, the lawyer for the Craig family, filed a $20 million notice of claim against the city on Thursday as the city owns the parkland where the club is located. The operation of the gym is contracted out.
Less than two weeks after Craig’s death, City Controller William Thompson released a report that found unsafe conditions at the club, including dangerous mold–among other findings.
Specialists offer the following suggestions
- Wash all items that came in contact with floodwaters with a chlorine bleach solution of no more than one cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
- If you have electricity, use a dehumidifier or a fan in front of open windows or doors to help with the drying process, and be sure that fans blow outward, rather than inward to avoid spreading the mold.
- Throw away all moldy items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned. If in doubt, throw it out. This includes carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture and stuffed animals.
- Take out any drywall or insulation that has been dampened by floodwater.
- Most antiseptics, including chlorine, are toxic to humans — rinse the skin quickly and well if there is accidental contact with the solution.
- Remember, chlorine bleach no longer is effective when the chlorine smell disappears.
- Have professionals check heating/cooling ducts and wall insulation for mold growth. If the system has mold inside, it will spread mold throughout the house.
For more information on mold or mold clean-up, visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm
D.R. Horton Home Builder has built an unidentified number of homes which have forced out residents after the houses have developed dangerous levels of toxic mold.
By law the seller of a home must tell the buyer if there is a problem with the house like mold before the sale is made. If an inspector misses obvious signs of mold they too can be found at fault. So the residents of the evacuated homes do still have some recourse. They will have to get in line. Currently there are four law suits against D.R. Horton Inc. on behalf of residents of Daniel Island and one family in Moncks Corner.
The allegation is that defective construction and building code violations in four homes has led to mold damage.
Mold is just one of the foreign bodies we’re breathing in varying levels every day. Remedies to improve indoor air quality can be simple, especially when you know what you’re up against.
It’s you against stachybotrys. It’s the greenish-black substance in their walls or floors which is called “toxic black mold.”
For help, refer to I-BEAM (Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model), the Building Air Quality Action Plan (BAQ) a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in IAQ in commercial buildings; and BASE, the Building Assessment, Survey, and Evaluation study, which collected data from 100 randomly selected office buildings in the U.S. to create a set of basic statistics regarding HVAC features, pollutant concentrations, and occupant symptoms.
- IAQ Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM)The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM), released in 2002, is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.
- BAQ Action PlanTo be used with
Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers
(EPA/400/1-91/033, DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 91-114)
- IAQ EPA developed the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools (TfS) Program to reduce exposures to indoor environmental contaminants in schools through the voluntary adoption of sound indoor air quality management practices.
• Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
• Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
• Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
• Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)
• Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $1.5 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
• Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $1.5 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
• Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
• Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.
Assistance for the state and affected local governments can include as required:
• Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
• Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
• Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
How to apply for assistance:
• Those in the counties designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.
• Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.
The Environmental-expert.com released an article quoting the medical community as saying “Although molds release natural toxins, called mycotoxins, these don’t cause problems to people who live in moldy houses because the toxins don’t diffuse into the air. The only way to be exposed to them is to swallow them.’ “
I would really like to see that original document. It is hard to believe that a member of the medical community actually said this…
Especially since the EPA documents state “‘Many symptoms and human health effects attributed to inhalation of mycotoxins have been reported including: mucous membrane irritation, skin rash, nausea, immune system suppression, acute or chronic liver damage, acute or chronic central nervous system damage, endocrine effects, and cancer.’ The EPA added, ‘it is clearly prudent to avoid exposure to molds and mycotoxins,’ “
When levels of arsenic, cadmium, vanadium, and lead were tested in flooded Midwestern homes, totals were substantially higher than the maximum levels that the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe. It is not unexpected, since floodwaters are known to contain sewage, industrial waste, petroleum products, bacterial poisons such as E. coli and Vibrio vulnificus, biohazards (asbestos, PCBs and dioxin ) as well as construction material dissolved or degraded into standing water.
After the toxic soup dries, in the course of mud and debris removal, it is crucial to treat the area as a toxic zone and wear appropriate biohazard protective gear. Inhalation of toxic dust is obviously bad for your health. In addition to the sediment, mold growth of species such as the hazardous Stachybotrys chartarum will be difficult to control, especially if there are damaged roofs and plumbing, permitting water access to the area.
As any mold growth indoors is going to be destructive to construction materials–after all, mold feeds on cellulose–it is crucial to remove mold infested walls, roofing, etc. However professional mold assessment reports provide documentation on the type and quantity of mold for insurance purposes. Such documentation can prove very important from the courtroom to the hospital ward.
The FDA’s mold guide talks about mold basics, cleanup and provides guidelines for how to clean up mold once you’ve been infested. The guide is available as a .pdf file English and Spanish Although the document presents recommendations, it also comes with a warning that the EPA does not regulate standards regarding the concentration of mold or mold spores in indoor air. This is probably because there is significant litigation involved as well as controversy as to how the degree of effect mold has on individuals.
Part of the problem might be traced to the terminology. Mold itself is not necessarily toxic, though there is a black mold which is “named” toxic. The real toxin in mold is a product called mycotoxin, a substance produced by many molds. Mycotoxins cause allergic reactions to many if not most people when they are exposed to them; but mycotoxins are most severely toxic to infants, the elderly or infirm and individuals with breathing problems such as pneumonia. However, most people exposed to high levels of mold develop sensitivity (allergies) so the controversy should really be a moot point. No one is immune.
Mold is the heritage of standing water.
They say the mold in New Orleans smells like death.
Parts of the lower ninth ward still look like a war zone. Razed lots, debris, house after ramshackle boarded over house. These are the parts of the city where tourists don’t go.
Moisture Ideal for Mold Growth. Stachybotrys chartarum. The physical destruction you see. THe walls and ductwork packed full of mold and spores waiting to be launched in the air conditioning.
Industrial Nanotech makes a coating resistance to mold growth, lead encapsulation, chemical resistance, and fire resistance in an environmentally safe, water-based, coating formulation.
Bye Bye Mold does assessment, not remediation; but we do recommend that in most cases, it is healthier NOT to cover up affected areas with a coating. Now, if you want to put that resistant coating on some new resistant greenboard for double protection, that sounds like a good idea.
If remediation means that you are going to have to remove molded, mildewed and/or decomposing building supplies, it is safer to rely on a professional. Removing such debris recirculates it into the property’s air supply, so special care must be taken to make sure the no residents or workers are exposed to mycotoxins or other toxins released by the remodel.
- Dry or discard wet items within 24.
- Flood cleanup: dealing with mold
- Mold cleanup in schools and commercial buildings. Info for building managers.
- Mold, moisture, and your home from the EPA
- Tips and techniques – mold cleanup guidelines from the EPA
- Water-Related Emergencies and Outbreaks from cdc.gov, and NIOSH Recommendations for the Cleaning and Remediation of Flood-Contaminated HVAC Systems: A Guide for Building Owners and Managers
When you suspect mold, step #1 is a professional mold assessment: surveying moisture levels of walls, ceilings and floors, locating visible mold growth, and testing the air for the quantity and variety of mold spores. Determining the variety of mold is important because some types of mold are indicators of water damage and are potential health hazards. A Bye Bye Mold â„¢ professional mold assessment is your first step towards a healthy indoor environment.