This division deals mainly with regulatory compliance issues mandated by local, state and federal agencies, including: the State Water Resources Control Board, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Department of Public Health, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the State Department of Conservation, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the State Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California OSHA, California Air Resources Control Board, and the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. Areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to employee health and safety, potable water supply, wastewater treatment and disposal, storm water requirements, solid waste and recycling, air quality, and toxic substances. Regulatory Affairs ensures that the various municipal services respond to function comply with the regulations
The division also spearheads various public outreach and education efforts to encourage responsible stewardship of environmental resources. Forecasting future utility infrastructure needs based upon data analysis and others tools available is also a responsibility of this division.
Furthermore, this division is responsible for the procurement of supplies and services for all City departments, including management of open purchase orders, contract services and competitive bidding for supplies and services.
Other primary responsibilities include the provision of general administrative services for the Department and responding to public inquiries and complaints.
Waste to Energy
The City of Modesto and the County of Stanislaus contracted in 1986 with Covanta Energy to build and operate the Stanislaus Resource Recovery Facility, a waste-to-energy (WTE) project. Since 1989, the project provides for disposal of waste generated within the County in an efficient, cost effective and environmentally sound manner. The WTE facility is not only a sound alternative to land filling one hundred percent of our waste; it generates electricity which is sold to partially offset the cost of operating it. www.stanislauswte.com
Lead and Copper Rule
All water systems have been required to sample their water supply for lead and copper for decades. However, this rule was unusual because for the first time it required the water utilities to sample from within individual residences. The EPA's primary concern is corrosion within household plumbing fixtures which could add high levels of lead and/or copper to drinking water at the tap after the water had set in the fixtures for a prolonged period of time. Neither lead nor copper has been found in the City well water.
The City asked for volunteers to sample their own tap water at the beginning of the day. Based on the samples obtained from these volunteers, the City found that lead and copper concentrations within vulnerable homes in Turlock were non-detectable or at very low levels. Repeat testing has further confirmed the initial results. These results confirmed the City's expectations since our well water is generally non corrosive.
Many faucets and water lines within homes contain copper and small amounts of lead. The City recommends running any faucet for several seconds whenever it has not been used for an extended period of time.
The City does not fluoridate the drinking water even though the natural level of fluoride in the water is very low. Based on California law, the City may be required to fluoridate in the future if funding from an outside source, such as the State budget, is available. It does not appear likely that these funds will be made available to the City of Turlock.