Activists battling a toxic waste dump near Kettleman City said Friday they have filed administrative complaints against two state agencies alleging civil rights violations in the approval of an expansion of the Chemical Waste Management facility.
Kettleman City made headlines several years ago when a series of severe birth defects prompted federal and state studies. No connection to the dump was found.
The federal and state administrative complaints filed by People for Clean Air and Water of Kettleman City and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice allege that the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and California Environmental Protection Agency discriminated against Latino residents.
The agencies improperly relied on Kings County’s permitting process that excluded Latinos and Spanish-speaking residents from meaningful participation, the group said.
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The Department of Toxic Substances Control said it takes its responsibility to comply with federal and state civil rights laws seriously. The department has received a copy of the complaints and is reviewing them.