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Authority for Review

Grand Jury jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.


Periodic review of County agencies.

Method of Review

Interview with Director of Land Use Agency
Interviews with Agency inspectors
Review of related documents
Review of applicable California Codes


The Land Use Agency consists of the Building, Planning and Environmental Health Departments. The Environmental Health Department is made up of five inspectors and a secretary. Inspectors oversee water quality, disease control, sanitation, hazardous materials, and food/restaurant safety.

Cities in the County contract with the Environmental Health Department to address environmental health issues. For example, the Department's assistance was requested to review effects of sewage release during the recent flooding.

Environmental Health is responsible for evaluating the effect of hazardous materials on soil, structures, and water sources. This includes problems such as illegal drug labs, unauthorized dumping of hazardous wastes, and disposal of automotive fluids.

Environmental Health is not responsible for clearing hazardous waste sites. Landowners are responsible for clean-up of contaminated soil, water, and septic systems.

The Department reviews the quality of water systems not under the County Water Agency control. This includes 50 community water systems each servicing 5 to 200 connections. Systems with more than 200 connections are inspected by the State. Testing of water in public swimming pools and other public facilities is conducted.

Disease control duties include inspecting businesses that sell or serve food. Field inspections are periodically conducted and additional inspections are made in response to complaints.


The responsibilities of the Environmental Health Department are important to the health and safety of the County residents.



Response Required

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