Protecting the Environment
The Environmental Protection Unit focuses on enforcing public health laws, protecting the environment from polluters and insuring workplace safety. The unit was formed in the early 80's and has operated as part of the civil enforcement unit since its inception.
The members of the Environmental Unit investigate and prosecute cases that involve violations of those code sections designed to protect the environmental quality of our community. A prosecution can be based upon the Health and Safety Code, the Penal Code, the Vehicle Code, the Water Code or the Fish & Game Code.
The Unit also investigates and prosecutes matters involving unlawful treatment, transportation, storage or disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Its responsibilities encompass other laws governing such diverse areas as air pollution, asbestos, illegal land development, illegal pesticide use, exposure warnings, timber protection, underground storage tanks, water pollution, unlawful streambed alterations, wildlife protection and workplace safety where fatalities or serious injuries are involved.
Agencies that investigate alleged violations include local fire and police departments and code compliance inspectors, water pollution control plant and water district staff, the Department of Fish and Game, the State Toxics Department, CHP and Cal-OSHA.
Enforcement of these laws includes civil as well as criminal proceedings, which can result in substantial monetary penalties, recovery of damages to natural resources, injunctions requiring corrective actions, and preventing future violations, as well as incarceration.
Kelly D. Scott
Office of the District Attorney
312-D East Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454