Re "Hazardous waste untracked" (Capitol and California, Nov. 18): This is in response to The Bee recently running an Associated Press story focusing on the movement of hazardous waste. California's paper system is not perfect. Ninety-nine percent of the state's 450,000 annual waste shipments arrive safely. Missing paperwork, not missing waste, accounts for the vast majority of the remaining 1 percent. One missing load is too much, so we rely on additional tools to ensure safety. These include local, state and federal inspectors who annually inspect more than 100,000 hazardous waste generators. In addition, we and our local counterparts respond to hundreds of tips on suspicious activity, and we have formed partnerships with local communities to create systems that allow anyone to report suspicious activity. Since the start of this administration, we have improved how we track hazardous waste, and we anticipate a nationwide electronic system in the coming years. Californians need and deserve the best tracking system available.
-- Debbie Raphael, Sacramento,