Report 2007-114 Recommendation 4 Responses

Report 2007-114: Low-Level Radioactive Waste: The State Has Limited Information That Hampers Its Ability to Assess the Need for a Disposal Facility and Must Improve Its Oversight to Better Protect the Public (Release Date: June 2008)

Recommendation #4 To: Public Health, Department of

To inform the Legislature when it is likely to receive the information to evaluate the State's need for its own disposal facility, the department should establish and communicate a timeline describing when the report required by Section 115000.1 of the Health and Safety Code will be available. The department should also see that its executive management and the branch discuss with appropriate members of the Legislature as soon as possible the specific information required by state law that it cannot provide. Further, to the extent that the department cannot provide the information required by law, it should seek legislation to amend the law.

Agency Response*

The Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) continues its ongoing task of receiving data from California generators for the issuance of the required reports. The RHB published and posted the 2013 Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) report on the RHB website. The 2014 and 2015 reports are currently being aggregated and processed by the departments IT program and will be made available to the public in the fall of 2017. To obtain complete data and improve the timeliness of the reports, the department's Information Technology (IT) office has completed a web based tracking system and the RHB is currently testing the software. The tracking program includes data for all sections of the Health and Safety Code, Section 115000.1. Once the tracking system has been verified and validated a sample report will be generated for CSA review to ensure that each section of the H&SC is reported. Completion date is estimated to be September, 2017.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

The Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) continues its ongoing task of receiving data from California generators for the issuance of the required reports. The RHB published and posted the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) reports on the RHB website. All data for the 2013 report has been entered into our tracking system with an expected publication date of June 2016. The 2014 data is now being received and entered by the RHB, and is expected to be published by December 2016. To obtain complete data and improve the timeliness of the reports, the department's Information Technology (IT) office has approved and is working on a web based solution. IT staff have started programming and it is anticipated that this web based solution will be completed in 2016. This solution will have each generator utilize a drop down box format, send the data to RHB where it would be collated, summarized, and automatically generate the annual report. Design of the new LLRW Tracking System included a cross check of the law against its tracking data base and as generators begin using the new on line system, future reports will include all legislative data requirements. Therefore, amending legislation is unnecessary.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 2017
  • Response Date: May 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) continues to receive data from California generators and develop reports based on that data. The reports are available for review by the Legislature upon request. RHB completed the 2008 report in January 2011; the 2009 report is still under review. RHB will continue to produce these reports using existing staff time as available. To obtain more complete data and improve the timeliness of the reports, RHB continues to pursue ways to simplify and automate data collection for both low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) generators and RHB staff. RHB is investigating an information technology-based solution that another state has successfully implemented that would allow each LLRW generator to enter its own data using a drop-down box format and send the data to RHB via the Internet. RHB would collate and summarize the data through a programmed algorithm. All of the LLRW annual data elements necessary to meet the report requirements will be included in the IT solution, eliminating any need for legislation.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: January 2011
  • Response Date: October 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented

The department has not fully implemented this recommendation. It stated that it is still reviewing the data for its 2009 low-level radioactive waste report. The department also stated that it is researching a new computer system to simplify and automate its data collection efforts but provided no further details. In addition, the department did not discuss whether it can now report all statutorily required data elements in its report to the Legislature.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Agency Response*

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) agrees with the Bureau of State Audits. The 2007 annual report required by Health and Safety (H&S) Code section 115000.1 was completed in Apri1 2010. Pursuant to H&S Code section 115000.1, the report summarized by type of generator and county location of generation within the State, the nature, characteristics, and quantities of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) generated in California. The report for public review is posted on the CDPH-RHB website, while the other confidential report contains specific information about the location of radioactive materials and is available to members of the Legislature upon request. The 2008 LLRW annual report required by H&S Code section 115000.1 was completed in January 2011, and is posted on the CDPH-RHB website. The 2009 LLRW report is currently in the review process. CDPH intends for these reports to be generated annually.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

All Recommendations in 2007-114

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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