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Public Policy Newsletter Article

A Farewell Meeting with Sande Facinelli, San Diego County Hazardous Materials Chief

  • 2021-03-25T15:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Melanie Cohn

On April 24th, Biocom’s San Diego Environmental Health & Safety Committee held a roundtable discussion with Hazardous Materials Chief Sande Facinelli to address proposed increases in hazmat fees and the department’s programmatic updates.

A year ago, the department assessed increased time spent by staff on inspections and other factors contributing to increased costs and came up with a fee update. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, that update was postponed, and the department conducted a more comprehensive review of fees and services. They developed streamlining measures and ordinance changes for the department that will lead to significant cost savings. Because of this, some fees will have a minor increase, while others will see a slight decrease.

You’ll recall that the county’s Department of Environmental Health has undergone structural changes, with the renamed Department of Environmental Health and Quality now looking to identify a department head. This also means that medical waste will no longer need a unified program facility permit. Other department changes include adding new inspectors to identify unpermitted facilities, lowering inspection frequency to come in line with state requirements, and possibly continuing some inspections in a virtual format beyond the pandemic.

The modest fee increases, and other changes outlined above will be considered by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for a final vote in May. Additionally, CalEPA is implementing a $25 per year increase over the next 4 years (resulting in a $100 increase) in CUPA facility fees for all facilities in the state in order to update the CERS operating system.

We very much appreciate Sande joining us to share these updates with Biocom San Diego members. Sande will be retiring at the end of March and we wish her the best for a relaxing next chapter! We thank Sande for always having an open door and for her proactive collaboration with industry during her tenure at the county.