Public Health and the Environment

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 25, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Many environmental bills introduced this year presume that the public health is at serious risk and that California is not doing enough to protect its citizens from public health hazards.  CMTA believes that the bills are based on fears that are not supported by sound science.

For example, SB 490 (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach), suggests that the government of the Netherlands has more health expertise and is doing a better job protecting the public than California and the United States Government. The bill commissions the Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment to work with the Netherlands to put together a reconciliation of their list of substances posing hazards to public health minus California’s Prop 65 and submit a report to the legislature by 3/1/06.

Senator Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) has introduced SB 162, which would create a State Department of Public Health.  Along with the creation of this department would be the appointment of a State Health Officer and a Public Health Board.  

Senator Ortiz and Senate President Pro Temp Don Perata (D-Oakland) have also reintroduced, in SB 600, a new version of the Ortiz biomonitoring bill from last year.  Senator Martha Escutia (D-Norwalk) has reintroduced, in SB 849, her environmental health tracking bill and Assemblymember Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) has reintroduced, in AB 289, a revised version of her bill from last year requiring analytical methods from chemical manufacturers.  Both of these bills support Ortiz’s biomonitoring bill.  All three bills are silent on how the new programs will be funded.

CMTA will provide testimony on the impacts of these bills on manufacturers and the need to rely on sound science in making judgments about risks to public health. However, it is possible that a number of these bills will sail through the democrat majority in the Legislature and land on the Governor’s desk.
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