tv NBC Bay Area News Special NBC March 23, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
difficulty breathing and nausea. >> sinuses would burn and you just didn't feel like you could work outside. >> they denied. i don't think they are regulated well at all. >> reporter: evergreen has been cited for leaked fumes to high levels of arsenic in waste water. sources say that the permits could be revoked but gave it a series of small fines. they say the oversight is limited. >> we have the ability to look at both air and water and we're not doing a good enough job. and we're trying to pawn off our responsibility. >> reporter: in 2000 when evergreen was accused of illegally burning pcbs the company settled for $825,000. but instead of cash evergreen was allowed to pay half its fine in equipment donation to the fire department. >> these fines amount to a
pinprick on the hide of an elephant. >> reporter: lisa tucker had this report. >> people inside know there is extensive pollution that can harm people and do nothing about it. that is outrageous. >> can you stop and chat? >> debby is the director of the agency. the agency reneged on its offer to provide an interview. >> what do you say to those who feel their health is at risk? >> i say that quite a lot happens and we are always open and my door is always open if people feel like the people who work for me are not being responsive. i want to know about it. >> reporter: but those who live here in southern california say she does know they're concerned. many here say that the hazardous waste recycler is poising their ground water with the chemical at the heart of the film "erin
brockovich". >> my family had five members and four of us have cancer. >> reporter: the company says it didn't cause the contamination but is cleaning it up. the company says it is working to renew their permit. >> reporter: how do you assess the permitting right now? what letter grade would you give it? >> that's a great question. i don't have a letter grade and that's why i have to do the assessment. >> reporter: a day letter the director told staff 22 of the 118 licensed facilities are working with outdated permits. she writes the agency must review the permitting program. when it comes to the transportation of hazardous waste sources say recordkeeping is so bad, regulators don't know which toxic substances are going where. we analyzed the last 13 years of reports and found 44% of the
enters listed blank or unknown. part of the problem could be the staff itself. a state audit found 59% are not in the correct jobs. that's six times what the state says is acceptable. >> people are given positions who weren't qualified. >> reporter: sources say the department needs real reform and soon. >> it requires accountability, transparency and results. >> i've got to go. >> you will sit down with us? >> you bet. >> thank you very much. we appreciate it. thank you. >> the investigative unit will follow up with the director once the official review is completed. vicky also reached out to evergreen oil but the company had no comment. coming up after the break our investigation continues,
vicky nguyen digging to a possible conflict of interest. >> this is the first i've heard that the staffers are invested in this way. >> top employees and big investments that are too close to home. we follow the money. 100% electr. is more fun than ever. sees better than ever. ♪ charges faster. and will charge. cool. and heat. from your phone. fact: leaf never needs gas. ever. good for the world. built in america. now, leaf's an easier choice than ever. ♪ shop at choosenissan.com. ♪
and welcome back. more questions tonight about the department of toxic substance control. after seeing our report three state senators have called for an independent investigation into the agency. vicky nguyen has uncovered a potential conflict of interest involving top staffers and the companies they are paid to regulate. >> reporter: when a pipe burst
at the chevron refinery last august, flames shot into the sky for hours. thousands of people went to the hospital complaining of lung and eye irritation. >> breathing in it hurts. to breathe out it hurts worse. >> reporter: in response to the public outcry the dtsc said our job as public servants is to protect people's health and their environment. but many are questioning how well the department can do that when its top deputy director is a chevron shareholder. >> when i first came to dtsc it was 1985. >> reporter: this is a department youtube video. >> sigh hai have been here a lo years. >> are we have obtained financial statements for dtsc leaders. the deputy director includes stock in abbott laboratories and
bp. she had up to a million dollars in shares of general electry. all are companies that deal with toxic waste and are regulated by dtsc. >> one of our top managers had a invested interest in the companies that we oversee. >> reporter: lisa tucker authored this report accusing dtsc of allowing companies to operate without a permit. >> they know there is pollution that can harm people and do nothing about it. that is outrageous. >> a safe and stainable communities. >> reporter: stewart black's investments include shell, intel and proctor and gamble. more companies regulated by
dtsc. neither responded to our request for comment. >> this is the first i've heard that dtsc staffers are invested in this way. >> reporter: the senate majority leader and other state senators are calling for an independent investigation after our first report exposed weaknesses in permitting and enforcement. >> any time regulators have a direct financial interest in the industry that is a conflict of interest. >> reporter: peter king -- >> no one has exposed this kind of conflict of interest until you guys came along and did it. >> should there be legislative oversight when it comes to what regulators are allowed to invest? >> we should take a look at it. >> reporter: insiders pointed to the close relationship between dtsc director and this man. he is a lobbyist for boeing, another company that holds a
permit with the department. he also supported her confirmation. >> we have found her to be balanced, thorough and just as open as she claims to be. >> reporter: kevin deleone questions how the agency is being run. >> there may be too close of a relationship between the department, the bureaucrats and the alleged polluters. that's not kosher in my book. >> the dtsc says that the managers have done nothing wrong and the director will talk to us once the outside review of the agency is complete. we will keep you posted a the interview. coming up next -- >> i'd like to have your answers. >> he has declined to talk about serious issues behind the gates of the california national guard. general david baldwin goes on the offensive when we return.
in recent months we've heard members of the california national guard describe what they call a toxic hidden culture. some accuse the highest ranking officer of ignoring the problems. for months general david baldwin has avoided questions. in recent weeks we met general baldwin before a public appearance in san francisco. this time he was unable to avoid our camera and our questions. >> general baldwin? tony kovaleski do you have a few minutes to talk to us? members of his leadership team have said that general david
baldwin has a great story to tell. >> like to have your answer to questions. >> but for some unknown reason he has avoided our request to sit down for 15 minutes and answer accusations raised by more than two dozen members of his guard. >> i can tell you the culture and the 129 rescue wing is toxic in my opinion. and i recently let the general know that. >> i'm angry because they don't think it's significant enough to make changes in the organization. and i just can't accept that. >> they don't want, you know, their reputation to be tarnished. they don't want heat or light on our unit. >> they said that you have not met their expectations in fixing the culture. >> we had a survey done last july that shows that we have the best command climate in the entire department of defense. >> but the connection is not clear. we don't know how the survey
addresses accusations raised in our investigation that the general, since taking command nearly two years ago, has ignored a toxic culture behind the gates of the guard. >> you have not answered questions about sexual harassment or retaliation? >> they're wrong. their allegations have been looked at by the department of defense and united states air force. >> but accusations by more than a dozen guard members were documented in this report co-authored by a member of the oklahoma national guard. chief ronald petty. >> it was clear to us according to them that the california national guard was not following the proper procedures as outlined in the national guard regulations. >> sexual harassment and hostile working environment are common place in the california air national guard and racial tension has been high since 2008
and he found proof to immediately assign counselorers and investigators when its members filed complaints. >> what is the reputation of the california national guard? >>th not a good one. it's not a good reputation. it's not. >> the petty report, the taxpayer paid for it and it was ignored. how do you answer that? >> there was no report. that document was a collection of individual statements that were never investigated. >> in your decades of experience have you seen anything like you found in california? >> no. no. i never found that many people who weren't getting resolution. >> i just can't believe that the huge chain of command can't take care of people. >> they like to keep this a dirty little secret and keep in the close wet the other
skeletons. >> we've asked to hit down with you. we didn't want to meet in the street like this. why have you avoided our questions? >> i find your ethics to be substandard. >> can you talk about that? >> you had an allegation that said one of her complaints into sexual assault may not have been investigated. you held on this to that for six months. that's reprehensible. >> we believe he's talking about our six month investigation. before and following the reports general baldwin has had several opportunities to address claims that members of his guard failed to handle issues of sexual assault and sexual aharassment brought to light by master sergeant jessica brown. >> i just want it to stop. because it -- i just want it to stop. >> we gave you every opportunity to answer it and you avoided our questions. will you sit down with us, sir?
>> can you please go outside? thank you. >> we were able to confirm the survey that general baldwin cited in the interview but not allowed to confirm his claim that issued raised by members were investigated because the guard will not provide those reports for our review. after the break -- >> this is a steel fixed cable. >> safety concerns at california ski resorts. we have the report card and what you need to know.
whether it's on a board, a sled, or skis, you know there are safety risks but now potential hazards are documented. ski resorts are under the microscope. we show you the first ever ski resort report card. >> reporter: going up, taking off and tearing down. but do the dangers go beyond the inherent risks of skiing and snowboarding. >> this is a steal fixed cable. >> reporter: from cables at neck height. run down chair lifts, to exposed metal poles. nick can find it. he's a former ski patroller and expert witness against the industry. >> you need to give the people the information they need.
>> reporter: he led a team of researchers who made unannounced visits to every california ski area. his findings became the basis for this safety report card by the california ski and snowboard safety organization. the group gave areas grades from a b to an f. >> it was put together on a single day. >> reporter: the lowest gray in lake tahoe, a d given to donner ski ravage. the ski area declined to speak to us. boreal also received low marshals for snow making equipment along the slopes. >> there were minor padding issues. >> reporter: john slaughter of boreal says that ski areas do all they can to make sure customers are safe by reevaluating procedures.
>> once an accident occurs to know what it will take to correct the situation. >> do you release that information? >> we do not? >> wlie? >> it's company policy. >> we don't have good enough information to understand where the greatest impact can be made because we don't have the data. >> reporter: ever since dog gregory lost his daughter at alpine ski resort he has been on a mission to get ski resorts to make accident data public. >> these accidents occur in these locations what can we do to prevent them? >> reporter: gregory started the ski and snow board safety organization and came up with the idea of the report card. he's also sponsored several ski safety bills that would have required ski areas throughout the state to establish standards and report injuries. lu legislation vetoed by governors schwarzenegger and brown.
they said it was unnecessary and tracked by the u.s. forest service. >> when we asked for accident reports, we were told they do not track incidents in a way to identify ski resorts. they have no records to provide to us. the national ski areas association reported 51 skiers were seriously injured last season out of 10 million who hit the slopes. 54 people died. when we asked to see the accident reports we were told they are confidential. >> it's an inherent risk of the sport. there is nothing we can do expect to make the resorts as safe as we can. >> the resorts have to be accountable to their customers. it's good business to be concerned about the safety and welfare of your customers. >> the california ski areas association said that the ski areas declined to participant
because of the biases of the report card's author. after our investigation first aired last month, state senator bill monty introduced a ski safety bill. if passed the resorts will have to report all accidents to the safety and prepare a safety plan made available to the public to skiers. if you have a tip for us to investigate call our tip line at 888-996-tips or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. we thank you for joining us and invite you to stay tuned to nbc bay area. why? because we investigate. i'm tony kovaleski. have a good night.
welcome to "access hollywood" everyone. this is the weekend edition. i'm shaun robinson. we are bringing you a run down of some of our favorite "access hollywood" interviews. first up is l.l. cool j every week he takes down the bad guys on his show "ncis l.a.." but when he confronted a real life home intruder he took his train together ultimate test. when i sat down with him on the set of his new music video we talked about the home invasion and his video which i
am in and the love of his life, his wife simone. >> so you and simone married for 17 years. >> yes jie. what is the secret to a 17-year marriage in this crazy, crazy business? >> eat your soup. let her talk. like i always say, let her talk. ya. when she is ready to go out, do you mind if i go out to dinner? i know she has the whole outfit on under the trench coat, i ignore that. no, it is no problem with me. zing. you know, i don't see that. i think there is an old saying, sometimes the wisdom is knowing what to ignore. >> don't mess with l.l. cool j. >> did you have just a little bit of fun looking at the news reports depicting you as some super hero? >> i put it to you like this, it is a lot more fun to watch
harrison ford in "the fugitive" than it is to live that life that harrison ford was living in" the fugitive." >> a terrifying incident of life imitating art when ll fought crime under his own roof. last august he broke the nose, jaw and ribs of a man charged with braining into his -- breaking into his l.a. area home in the middle of the night. it went down as his wife, simone, and their children were home. >> i am just thankful that things worked out. when i am to speak did -- to speak about it more, i will. i am just glad that things -- everyone is safe and healthy. >> right because it was a very, very scary -- >> that's what any man would do. >> right. simone tells me there is a house around your neighborhood that has a sign on its lawn that says, this house protected by ll l.l. cool j. >> yes, it is a house in the neighbor