Gino DiCaro

All is not gloomy on the environmental front

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, May 2, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A number of environmental bills that had made the CMTA Environmental Committee’s "Top 25" in priority have been amended to bills less of a problem for manufacturers.  

Assemblymember Mark DeSaulnier’s (D-Martinez) AB 2655, "Indoor Air Quality", originally intended to give the California Air Resources Board broad-based authority to regulate indoor air quality.  This legislation has now been amended significantly to focus instead on heavy duty vehicle crankcase emissions.  

Many CMTA members found AB 2912 (Lois Wolk, D-Davis), "Oil Spill Prevention and Response: Non-marine Waters", to be particularly problematic.  The bill redefined an oil spill from one barrel (42 gallons) to "any amount "of oil.  AB 2912 was amended and now leaves the quantity of an oil spill at the original one barrel mark.   

AB 3031 (Sally Lieber, D-San Francisco) was initially a "spot bill" giving the California Environmental Protection Agency’s (Cal/EPA’s) Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) authority to set up a Green Chemistry regulatory program.  CMTA’s environmental committee members selected this bill for the Top 25, concerned that it would eventually be amended into a vehicle which would direct Cal/EPA as to exactly how their program would function (ignoring the transparent process in place now and the months of public comment already taking place).  

AB 3031 was amended and now requires Cal/EPA to develop an inventory of all available data identifying chemical uses by type, industry sector, and toxicity to show existing hazardous substance flows, changes, and endpoints to assist consumers, policymakers, researchers, and industry.  The bill requires all state agencies to inform Cal/EPA of relevant data in their possession and to assist the agency in collecting additional data.  It also requires the agency to seek data to be included in the inventory from other entities.  All of these requirements appear to be steps that Cal/EPA and the agencies are already pursuing.  CMTA continues to monitor this bill closely.

One last bill worth mentioning is SB 1161 (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach).  Among other things, the bill extends the sunset clause for the Underground Storage Tank Clean-up Fund from 2011 to 2016 and also includes certain components that are either directly or indirectly connected to the tank.  This bill garnered a support position from CMTA’s EQ Committee.  It is now on the Senate floor.

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