Gino DiCaro

New positions on environmental legislation

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, June 17, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

CMTA's Environmental Quality Committee's "Top 25" bills shrunk to 10 during the first five months of this session.  Six bills were made into two-year bills, six were satisfactorily amended and three were re-assigned to other CMTA committees.   The Committee has now taken positions on 12 additional bills.  

On three of the bills, CMTA has taken a "Support" position:

AJR 8 (Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg) urges Congress to ratify Annex VI of Marpol 73/78.  It also urges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to pursue the creation of a sulfur emissions control area in North America.  Such action, would establish the same standards at all ports and eliminate the likelihood that port business would be shifted out of California due to tighter emissions standards.

AB 489 (Rudy Bermudez, D-Norwalk) assists the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles by defining what they must do in the way of collecting information related to cargo movement during off-peak hours as required by AB 2024 (Rudy Bermudez, D-Norwalk) from the 2003-04 session.

AB 1775 (Canciamilla) protects the confidentiality of information provided to the California Department of Homeland Security.

Of the bills that were added to the oppose list, the following five garnered the most votes:

SB 471 (Martha Escutia, D-Whittier) deletes from the definition of "property" in the California Land Environmental Restoration and Reuse Act a site that has one or more full-time equivalent employees on an annualized basis.  This would mandate full Brownfield cleanup even if the person has someone onsite full time working to mitigate the contamination.
SB 760 (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) imposes a $30 tax per twenty foot equivalent (TEU) on shipping containers at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, payable to the port by the marine terminal operator processing the container.  Since 98 percent of the containers are 40 TEU, the tax is actually $60.  The ports would retain a third of the funds for security, transmit another third to the Port Congestion Relief Trust Fund and transmit the last third to the South Coast Air Quality Management District for air quality improvements.

SB 459 (Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles) authorizes the South Coast Air Quality Management District to adopt a locomotive emissions impact mitigation fee.

SB 762 (Lowenthal) is the Teamsters "medallion" bill.  It creates the Los Angeles/Long Beach and Oakland Intermodal Joint Powers Authorities to oversee trucking functions and commissions (also established by this bill).  The result will be more government, greater cost and potentially increased unionization without further improvements in emissions reductions.

AB 1415 (Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) prohibits the sale or distribution of mercury switches, mercury relays and mercury-added products, unless the use of the product is required under a federal law, federal contract specification or if the mercury-added component in the product is a button cell battery.
If you have any questions or comments concerning these bills or any other environmental quality bills, contact Mike Rogge.
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