Environmental bills pared down

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 9, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

This year a record number of environmental bills were authored and a majority were viewed as harmful by the business community.  

June 3rd was the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin.  During the final two weeks, a number of bills died in their house of origin’s appropriations committee or on the floor, particularly in the Assembly.  The moderate Democratic Assembly caucus influenced the outcome in many instances, taking a stand on bills which they viewed as detrimental to California’s economic recovery. 

Noteworthy bills that have died or were made into "Two-Year bills" since introduction are listed below.  (Two-year bills stop moving for the current year, then are brought up at the start of the second year of the session.  They are given strict deadlines for passage early in the second year.)

1.  SB 870 (Martha Escutia, D-Whittier), Air Quality Violations, stated legislative intent for mandatory minimum penalties in cases of serious and chronic violations and allowed fine monies to go to community-based air pollution control programs;
2.  AB 990 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View), Toxic Substance Substitution, proposed the replacement of specified chemicals with "safer" alternatives without scientific justification;
3.  AB 1430 (Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles), Air Contaminants, would have limited the use of air emission credits in low-income communities or communities with a significant minority population;
4.  AB 1101 (Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach), Air Pollution: Diesel Magnet Sources, would have required facilities such as ports, rail yards, airports and distribution centers to mitigate emissions over which they have little or no control;
5.  AB 1360 (Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley), Institutional Control Sites, would have mandated the Dept. of Toxic Substance Control as the controlling agency for all Brownfield cleanup rather than the lead being assigned at the discretion of the agencies.  The bill would also have negated a number of the positive aspects of AB 389 (Cindy Montanez, D-San Fernando) enacted last year;
6.  SB 369 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto), Ecological Labeling, would have required products be certified to meet Green Bear Eco-Label criteria;
7.  AB 289 (Wilma Chan, D-Oakland), Hazardous Chemical Analytical Methods, required the submission of very costly and potentially proprietary test methods to the California Environmental Protection Agency;
8.  AB 701 (Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara), LEED Building Standards, would have implemented the platinum (the highest) Green Building Council standard for all new or renovated state buildings;
9.  AB 528 (Dario Frommer, D-Los Angeles), Civil Actions, allowed a party with a "beneficial interest" to sue without showing harm (bounty hunter legislation);
10.  AB 319 (Chan), Phthalates and Bisphenol-A, banned these chemicals in children’s products;
11.  SB 985 (Joseph Dunn, D-Santa Ana), Adulterated Candy, would have banned candy with any lead content; and
12.  AB 1049 (Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood), Food and Beverage Recycling Labeling, would have required in many cases duplicative eco-labeling requirements and would have caused confusion in existing programs.

Since this was a "banner year" for environmental bills, there are still a myriad of bills that pose a threat to California industry.

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

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