The proximity of the Topock Compressor Station (Station) to the Colorado River and to the California and Arizona borders has necessitated that the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)The department within the California Environmental Protection Agency in charge of the regulation of hazardous waste from generation to final disposal. DTSC oversees the investigation and cleanup of hazardous waste sites. and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)The United States department charged with conservation and development of natural resources. The U.S. Department of the Interior uses sound science to manage and sustain America’s lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources, honors our nation’s responsibilities to tribal nations, and advocates for America’s island communities. communicate and coordinate with many other governmental agencies and entities that have a stake in protecting the Colorado River and the surrounding environment. DTSC and DOI recognize the importance of the environmental investigations and cleanup activities at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Topock Project Site (Site) to the many stakeholders who value the surrounding land and Colorado River, including other bureaus of the Department of the Interior; communities in California, Arizona, Nevada; and 10 Tribal Nations, 6 of which have lands that border the Colorado River. To this end, DTSC established several focused advisory groups, which are outlined below. The agencies believe these forums offer opportunities for ongoing communication on this complex Project.
Consultative Workgroup (CWG):
In March 2000, DTSC established a Consultative Workgroup (CWG)A group consisting of stakeholders and multiple state and federal agencies that have an interest in the cleanup of a contaminated site, and meet regularly to discuss actions and make decisions. to provide a forum for consultation and recommendations to DTSC in its oversight of the Project. CWG meetings are usually held quarterly to discuss PG&E Topock Environmental Investigation and Remediation Project (Project) activities and plans. The CWG comprises states, regional and federal agencies, and Tribal Nations (stakeholders). Through the consultation and inputs gathered in the CWG, DTSC is better informed to make decisions towards the effective investigation and remediation of past releases from the Site that balance protection of the lands and waters of the Colorado River Basin in a manner that is respectful and minimizes impacts to sensitive cultural and environmental resources.
The CWG includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the following agencies, Tribal Nations, and stakeholders:
Lead State Regulatory Agency
Lead Federal Regulatory Agency
Other Federal Oversight Agencies
Supporting CWG Members
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
California Regional Water Quality Control Board - Colorado River Basin
California State Water Resources Control Board
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
Colorado River Board of California
Colorado River Indian Tribes
Fort Mojave Indian Tribes
Hualapai Indian Tribe
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Mohave County Department of Public Health
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Technical Workgroup (TWG):
DTSC established the Technical Workgroup (TWG)A focused stakeholder subgroup of the Consultative Work Group (CWG) where various stakeholders and their consultants discuss technical project related issues in greater detail which are then reported back to the CWG. as a subgroup of the CWG. The TWG meets to deliberate on specific technical issues of the Project in greater detail and then reports back to the CWG with the results. Technical areas of discussion include geochemistry, hydrogeology, statistics for investigation, modeling and engineering design, human health and ecological risk assessments, remediation alternatives, and remedial design for the Project. The TWG meets monthly to quarterly, depending on Project needs.
Topock Leadership Partnership (TLP):
The Topock Leadership Partnership (TLP) was created as a result of an understanding that a forum was needed to enable senior officials of Tribes and Stakeholder groups to provide input to DTSC and DOI on the direction of actions necessary to complete the Project. The purpose of the TLP is to exchange information, views and opinions on various actions proposed by DTSC and DOI to ensure timely development, selection, and implementation of the groundwater and soil remedy for the Site. The intent is not government-to-government consultation with Tribes but to provide a senior level perspective of each participant’s interest, and gain understanding of differing points of view which could be considered before critical decisions are made by the agencies. The TLP has met several times since 2008, prior to critical Project decisions.
Clearinghouse Task Force (CTF):
A subgroup of the TLP is the Clearinghouse Task Force (CTF)A group formed to develop and implement processes and tools to improve communications and enhance Topock stakeholder understanding of project technical and regulatory information.. The CTF was formed to develop tools and implement ideas to improve communications and enhance stakeholder understanding of the technical and regulatory processes of the Project. The goal is to foster timely and effective project management and early collaboration with Tribal Nations and stakeholders, and to inform state and federal agencies on issues and concerns prior to decision making on the Project.