Environmental bills vetoed as unnecessary and duplicative

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Oct. 1, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

CMTA’s Environmental Quality Committee had a very good year on the legislative front.  Of the 34 bills that we opposed, all were either amended into something we could accept, killed in the legislature or vetoed.

Two bills passed the legislature and ended up on the Governor’s desk:  AB 737 (Wesley Chesbro, D-Eureka) and SB 1433 (Mark Leno, D-San Francisco).

AB 737 would have mandated recycling for all commercial, industrial and institutional facilities putting CalRecycle in charge of implementation. It also required CalRecycle to report back to the legislature in 2013 on the diversion rate at that point and the strategies necessary to reach a 75 percent diversion rate from landfill by 2020.  (The state is currently at 58 percent). 

In his veto message Governor Schwarzenegger said:

    This bill is unnecessary and duplicative of actions already being undertaken by state agencies…..CalRecycle is currently in the process of developing mandatory commercial recycling regulations through an open process of workshops and hearings that rely upon stakeholder input and participation. Furthermore, CalRecycle's regulations will apply to both the public and private sectors. Consequently, I believe CalRecycle's more inclusive approach towards meeting the state's ambitious waste diversion goals will better serve California economically and environmentally.

SB 1433 would have required the California Air Resources Board (CARB), on March 1, 2011, and annually thereafter, to adjust maximum civil and criminal penalties for inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index, and to publish the inflation-adjusted maximum penalties on its website.

The Governor also thought this bill unnecessary: 

    It is not clear that current penalties for violating air pollution control laws are failing to achieve the deterrent effect for which they were originally designed. California has the most aggressive air pollution control laws in the nation. That distinction comes with a responsibility to balance our environmental goals with our economic goals. Current law gives CARB and the local air districts broad authority to assess and negotiate fine amounts with those who violate our air pollution control laws. Anecdotal evidence suggests that when issuing citations, the local air districts do not generally issue them at the maximum penalty amount. And when they do, they normally negotiate those fines lower based on a variety of factors, including the egregiousness of the violation and the violator's ability to pay the fines. Until more evidence is shown to the contrary, current law seems to strike the correct balance.

CMTA commends the Governor on his decision for these two bills.


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