Bad environmental bills still alive

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 4, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

As we approach the final week of the current session of the legislature, there are a number of environmental bills opposed by CMTA.

Two Senate bills still being considered: SB 728 (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) and SB 797 (Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica).

SB 728, Parking Cash-Out Program, is back on the floor of the Senate for concurrence in amendments made in the Assembly.  In the interest of promoting car pooling or alternative means of transportation, this bill would give the State Air Resources Board the ability to impose a civil penalty on employers who do not reimburse the cost of employer-provided parking to employees who do not drive.  The measure would also enable local air districts to assess fines.    

SB 797, the Toxin-Free Infants & Toddlers Act, would ban, as of January 1, 2010, the manufacture, sale, or commercial distribution of any bottle or cup or liquid, food, or beverage in a can, jar, or plastic bottle that contains bisphenol A, or that is lined with a material that contains bisphenol A at a level above 0.1 parts per billion. The bill is on the floor of the Assembly even though Cal EPA’s scientific arm, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, recently decided that there isn’t sufficient evidence to require bisphenol A products to be labeled with a Proposition 65 warning.

Two Assembly bills giving the California Coastal Commission additional powers are scheduled to be heard on the floor of the Senate.  AB 226 (Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City) gives the Coastal Commission the power to impose an administrative civil penalty of $5,000 to $50,000 per violation.  AB 291 (Lori Saldana, D-San Diego), would prohibit the Coastal Commission from issuing a development permit if there is an unresolved violation dispute of any kind.

AB 49 (Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles), a Water Conservation bill, is still in play.  The bill implements the Governor’s Executive Order calling for a 20 percent water conservation reduction by 2020 by mandating such action.  It is being heard in conference committee along with a number of additional water bills.  CMTA’s primary concern is that industrial process water and cooling water are not exempted.  

Surprisingly, AB 925 (Lori Saldana, D-San Diego), Recycling - Single-use Plastic Beverage Container Cap, has not been shelved and has been listed to be heard on the Senate floor since early-July.  This bill would ban plastic container caps that are not affixed to the plastic container after January 1, 2012.  There is no known technology at the present time allowing the filling of such containers at high speed.

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