Since 1987, the Department of Toxic Substances Control has failed to bill, or has billed but failed to collect, more than $194 million in costs associated with more than 1,600 cleanup projects.
Preliminary findings show that federal and state statutes of limitation have expired for at least 76 of those projects, resulting in a loss of $13 million.
Margarita Fernandez with the state auditor’s office says only $73 million in outstanding costs are due to cleanup projects affected by lawsuits or bankruptcies.
“Even if these projects that involve the bankruptcies or the ongoing litigation, even if they could recover those, there’s still over $100 million out there,” says Fernandez.
The state auditor says that the department still lacks processes for tracking and monitoring when the statute of limitations on contaminated sites will expire.
The DTSC acknowledged the billing problems publicly last year.