This award was largely for Jones’ efforts and leadership in rewriting an entire section of the California Health and Safety Code dealing with business plans and inventory requirements (known as the “Hazardous Materials” program element). During this four-year process, Jones chaired and led an effort that at times involved over 100 participants from local and State government, unified program agencies, prosecutors, the farm bureau, schools and universities, businesses and industries with facilities throughout the State, including larger retailers, utilities, manufacturing and others required to comply with the law.
The changes involved two bills (SB 483 effective January 2014 and SB 1261, effective January 2015 by Senator Hana Beth Jackson) sponsored by environmental health directors, Cal Chiefs and the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (who joined in sponsoring SB 1261). The changes were broad and sweeping, updating provisions, removing areas no longer applicable, and consolidating similar sections that included provisions scattered throughout the chapter. Other improvements include new electronic reporting requirements, the exclusion of businesses and chemicals that the group felt should no longer be included in the program, the addition of new definitions, a clearer definition of remote site requirements, and the addition of certain enforcement provisions.
In this collaborative effort, thousands of hours by a multitude of workgroups and breakouts led a State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials consultant to describe it as a “model approach to legislation.” At the awards luncheon, a short video highlighted the efforts of the CFB and all stakeholders involved in the process.
“This award is the Los Angeles County Fire Department serving as a leader in California and engineering our future in hazardous materials regulatory requirements,” said Jones.