Environmental Health is a division of the County’s Health Services Agency. The office employs over 38 staff, including California Registered Environmental Health Specialists, water quality specialists, analysts, and support and technical staff. The State of California mandates and delegates to local health departments the responsibility for environmental health programs. Legal authority for county environmental health programs comes from the California Health and Safety Code, California Code of Regulations, and local ordinances and regulations.
State-mandated programs include the control of retail food establishments, public swimming pools, organized camps, housing, and surveillance of public swimming beaches. State programs delegated at local option include employee housing inspections, medical wastes, and regulation of small public water systems. County ordinances and regulations pertaining to well construction, individual water systems, individual sewage disposal systems (septic systems and septic tank pumping) and surveillance of fresh water swimming areas are also enforced.
Environmental Health enforces State and local laws for hazardous materials and wastes countywide. Environmental Health also administers County Service Area 12, which provides programs for improved septic system management throughout the County, with a special focus on implementing the State-approved San Lorenzo Wastewater Management Plan. Environmental Health provides support and staff to the Hazardous Materials Advisory Commission, various water quality protection programs, and the County Water Resources Management Program.
Environmental Health is organized into five major program areas:
- Consumer Protection
- Hazardous Materials/Wastes
- Site Mitigation
- Land Use, Sewage Disposal, Waste Water Management
- Water Resources
The majority of the revenues for the conduct of environmental health programs is from permit fees and service charges, accounting for 65% of the office’s budget. Grants and contracts with other agencies provides 25% of the budget. The County General Fund provides for the remaining 10% of activities of Environmental Health.