New environmental bills

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 11, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

While there are currently very few "environmental" bills in print (and most are spot bills), the stage is already set for another very active year dealing with legislation that could significantly impact segments of industry in California.  Last year, two major environmental bills were signed by the Governor: AB 32 (Fabian Nunez-D, Los Angeles), the Global Climate Change bill and SB 1379 (Don Perata, D-Oakland), the biomonitoring bill.  Implementation of both of these issues will generate additional "clean-up" legislation in the new session.

We are also anticipating legislation dealing with a number of other issues which were on the table last year:

Senator Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) termed out of office last year, but one of her bills, SB 1205 is expected back.  SB 1205 would have imposed civil and criminal penalties and increased fines by 100 times for air pollution violations.  The California Clean Air Roundtable, sponsored by the Kirsch Foundation, decided mid-December to support re-introduction of SB 1205 and to endorse increased enforcement.  SB 1205 started out last year as the Children’s Breathing Rights Act, but faded as the beneficiaries of the fines changed.  Children’s rights groups and the district attorneys were cut out in favor of the air districts.

Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) has promised legislation promoting "Green Chemistry."  While no one outside of his staff seems to know what form this legislation will take, we do expect at least a couple bills related to this.

Assemblymember Lori Saldana (D-San Diego) has introduced AB 48 which would ban electronic devices containing specified heavy metals in concert with European standards.  This bill starts off in the same form that AB 2202 was in last year when it died.

We also anticipate the perennial legislation banning phthalates, Bisphenol-A, and styrofoam.  We may also see a bill resembling the San Francisco ordinance banning the sale of plastic toys and implements for children. 

A Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) bill giving the Air Resources board authority over indoor air quality died last year, but a variation of that bill is expected again.

Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) has introduced two spot bills which are likely potential vehicles for a container tax to further support air emission abatement in the major port cities.

The last day to introduce bills is February 23.

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