On the Trail of California’s Hazardous Waste

contaminated soil removal

Contractors load contaminated soil into trailers as part of a restoration project in Barstow, CA. California exports nearly half of its hazardous waste, much of it soil, to neighboring states. Photo courtesy of the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

  • On the Trail of California’s Hazardous Waste

When it comes to hazardous waste, California has some of the strictest rules in the country. Specifically, the state has set lower bar than most for what exactly it considers hazardous, triggering greater precautions around in-state disposal. But that doesn’t mean California is always disposing of toxic materials more carefully than its neighbors. That’s because nearly half of the the Golden State’s hazardous waste is disposed of across state lines, much of it is contaminated soil.

CalMatters investigative reporter Robert Lewis joins Terra Verde host and Earth Island Journal managing editor Zoe Loftus-Farren to discuss his long-term investigation into California’s hazardous waste rules, how they are impacting communities both inside and outside state, and where we might go from here.

You Make Our Work Possible

You Make Our Work Possible

We don’t have a paywall because, as a nonprofit publication, our mission is to inform, educate and inspire action to protect our living world. Which is why we rely on readers like you for support. If you believe in the work we do, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to our Green Journalism Fund.

Get the Journal in your inbox.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.