Gino DiCaro

Paint industries file lawsuit

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Nov. 16, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The American Coatings Association filed a lawsuit against Cal EPA’s Department of Resources, Recycling & Recovery (CalRecycle) on October 30th. The lawsuit is seeking a court order directing CalRecycle to cease and desist from implementation and enforcement of regulations pertaining to a used paint recovery program mandated by AB 1343 (Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael). AB 1343 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in 2010 and was supported by the industry at that time.

The law required paint manufacturers, individually or collectively, to establish a paint waste management and take-back program with a fee on consumers to cover the costs of the program. The law did not require retailers to participate. For the most part, the paint manufacturers have united under one non-profit stewardship organization, PaintCare, who has submitted a stewardship plan to CalRecycle. The fact that some retailers have chosen not to participate has ired environmentalists claiming that the fee should be higher and the program more extensive.

Attorneys for the American Coatings Association and PaintCare contend that CalRecycle implemented their vision of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program rather than base their regulation on the statute. In addition, the law clearly spells out how a department program fee will be assessed. CalRecycle chose to bill the industry instead to cover the agency’s administration cost. PaintCare also maintains that they would be required to report information beyond that which they have available.

This is the second industry-supported EPR program to go dramatically awry. The mercury thermometer industry supported AB 2347 (Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City) in 2008 and now finds itself faced with recovery goals from the Department of Toxic Substances Control which will be impossible to achieve.

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