Gino DiCaro

EQ bills on the Governor's desk

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Sept. 14, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

While we had a highly successful year defeating premature, unscientific and misguided environmental legislation, nine bills opposed by CMTA made it through the California Legislature and now sit on the Governor's desk.  We will be asking for vetoes on the following bills:

  • AB 833 (Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City) requires California businesses to report all information to the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA) that was deleted by the December 2006 streamlining changes in the Federal Toxic Release Inventory program. The changes to the federal program were based on the assumption that altering reporting requirements in some circumstances would provide an incentive for companies to reduce use and discharge of specific chemicals. This bill eliminates that incentive and creates a California-specific reporting requirement that would put California companies at a disadvantage.

  • SB 1001 (Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata, D-Oakland) changes the make-up of the Regional Water Boards, making them less accountable to stakeholders (namely industry and agricultural interests).   

  • SB 719 (Mike Machado, D-Linden) does essentially the same thing as SB 1001, but with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

  • AB 48 (Lori Saldana, D-San Diego), introduced two years in a row, prohibits the sale of electronic devices containing specified heavy metals if they are banned in the European Union.  While amended heavily, this bill still relies upon a foreign entity to set California law.  It also adds to the bureaucracy within the Department of Toxic Substance Control setting up an unfunded program (think fees!) to change industry practices which is already changing.

  • AB 1108 (Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco) bans a wide range of children's products, from toys to baby bottles, which contain phthalates.  Scientific evidence (at least at this time) does not support a ban of this chemical.

  • SB 990 (Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica) aims at one specific site, Boeing's Santa Susana Field Laboratory, to stop its potential future sale unless the firm cleans-up the property. The standards to be met are prohibitively costly and are actually lower than background radiation.  

  • CMTA joined coalitions opposing "Green Building" bills, AB 35 (Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City), AB 888 (Ted Lieu, D-Torrance) and AB 1058 (John Laird, D-Santa Cruz). These bills mandate that buildings be built "green" for future state, commercial and residential construction and that they meet standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (not a government organization).  CMTA believes that the state building commission should continue to be the agency responsible for establishing building standards and not, as these bills might have it, Cal-EPA (Cal EPA agrees).  CMTA believes green building construction should be voluntary and that there be only one certification program.

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