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(a) The Department may respond to releases (including suspected or threatened releases) of hazardous materials anywhere in the County, when necessary to protect public health and safety and the environment. For any responses undertaken pursuant to the authority of the Health Officer, such responses shall be coordinated with and under the immediate supervision of the Director of Environmental Health. Planning for, funding, and execution of release responses outside of the unincorporated areas of the County shall be coordinated with the Unified San Diego County Emergency Services Organization (USDCESO) and its member agencies. Responses to releases within the unincorporated area can be conducted through USDCESO or independently by the Department, as USDCESO and the Department find appropriate.
(b) When responding to a release or threatened release, the Director of Environmental Health may order that areas or premises be evacuated, and may determine when evacuated areas or premises may be reoccupied.
(c) When responding to a release or threatened release, the Department may order, supervise or undertake all measures necessary to protect public health and safety and the environment, including but not limited to measures to prevent or stop a release; measures to limit or stop the spread of hazardous substances; measures to suppress or extinguish fire; measures to contain, recover, remove, transport, store or dispose of hazardous substances or waste or contaminated environmental media; measures to mitigate the impacts of a release or fire; site safety, exposure control and monitoring and decontamination activities; and all activities reasonably related to the foregoing activities, including testing, sampling and staff work necessary to assess, evaluate and characterize the emergency condition, to formulate appropriate plans for corrective actions, and to prepare records for related reporting, cost recovery, and enforcement.
(d) When responding to a release or threatened release, the Department shall determine:
(1) Whether evacuation from the building, structure, property, or public right-of-way where the incident originated was necessary to prevent loss of life or injury.
(2) Whether the incident resulted in the spread of a hazardous substance or substances, or fire, that posed a danger making a response necessary.
(3) Whether the spread of a hazardous substance posed a real and imminent threat to public health and safety beyond the building, structure, property, or public right-of-way where the incident originated.
(4) Whether negligence caused or contributed to the incident, and if so the person whose negligence caused or contributed to the incident.
(5) Whether a violation of Sections 25504 to 25508.2, inclusive, or Section 25511 of the Health and Safety Code resulted in or significantly contributed to the emergency, including a fire, and if so the business, facility or handler that was in violation.
(6) Whether any other violation of law by an individual resulted in or significantly contributed to the emergency, and if so the identity of that individual and his or her employer.
(7) Whether, for an incident involving a motor vehicle, the operation of that motor vehicle caused the incident requiring an emergency response.
(e) The Department shall record their findings pursuant to subsection (d) of this section in a report or memorandum prepared close in time to the incident that required an emergency response. The report or memorandum shall include a short summary of the facts supporting those findings.
(Added by Ord. No. 10412 (N.S.), effective 2-26-16; amended by Ord. No. 10536 (N.S.), effective 7-1-18; amended by Ord. No. 10606 (N.S.), effective 7-1-19; amended by Ord. No. 10709 (N.S.), effective 1-15-21)