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Santa Monica, CA—Consumer Watchdog urged Governor Brown today to rethink his appointment of Barbara Lee as the new director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) after remarks she made that there was no need to reform the deeply troubled agency.

“At an all-staff DTSC meeting this week, Barbara Lee said that she was not coming into the position thinking, ‘I have to change anything or shake anything up in a big way,’ according to an Inside Cal/EPA report published today,” Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker wrote in a letter to the Governor. “Ms. Lee has evidently come to this conclusion without spending a day in the capacity of her new job, which begins only next month. We ask that she publicly acknowledge the error to communities suffering from toxic harm that have waited for reform of this troubled agency for decades. If she does not, she should be fired before she has the chance to do any real damage.”

To read the letter and news report, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/govbrownfireleeltrarticle11-20-14.pdf

Tucker wrote that Lee’s position on the department was “exactly the opposite of what environmental advocates and leading lawmakers have been demanding for months as media scrutiny of this profoundly dysfunctional department continues” and called DTSC the “poster child for worst California environmental regulator…in desperate need of reform.” Last summer, 35 advocates wrote Governor Brown asking that he appoint a strong and committed reformer to head the DTSC who would remove senior staff whose allegiances are to the industry they regulate rather than protecting the public from toxic harm.

To read the letter by environmental advocates, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/impactedcommunitiestogovbrownaboutdtscdirector6-5-14.pdf

For more on DTSC, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/focusarea/toxics-watchdog

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