Mike Rogge

Concerns eased on five environmental bills

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, April 1, 2016 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A number of environmental bills that CMTA members were very concerned about have now either been dropped or amended into a bill of no concern:

  1. AB 1759 (Rob Bonta, D-Alameda) – Hydrogen Fluoride/Hydrofluoric Acid Ban. This bill would have banned HF/HFA use as of January 1, 2017. The author’s office was not aware that HF/HFA is widely used in various major industries in California, specifically due to its unique corrosive properties, and that, in most instances, there are no alternatives that will suffice. The author has elected to park the bill in Assembly Natural Resources for the year.
  2. AB 2579 (Evan Low, D-Campbell) – Beverage Recycling and Litter Reduction. This spot legislation was feared to interfere with the current Beverage Recycling program which already has its own problems. It has now been amended into a study bill establishing a food service packaging baseline.
  3. SB 1083 (Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica) – California Oil Spill Contingency Plan. SB 1083 conflicted with federal and state law by prohibiting the participation of personnel from a responsible party in various activities required of the unified command in the event of an oil spill. A coordinated response is absolutely necessary. In line with the opposition coalition letter, the Senate Natural Resources committee consultant’s report recommended changes to correct this and Senator Allen accepted those changes.
  4. SB 1151 (Isadore Hall, D-Compton) – Emergency Services: State Toxic Disaster Plan. CMTA expressed a concern about the security of their sites if 100 percent of the information in these plans were made public. The bill has been gut-and-amended and now requires the Office of Emergency Services to do a feasibility study of the potential to develop a contract with the United States Postal Service to receive emergency response assistance from them during a declared disaster.
  5. SB 1260 (Allen) – Hazardous Material Motor Vehicle Tires: Zinc. This bill would have banned the use of zinc in tires by an unspecified date. The problem is that the rubber industry has been looking for an alternative to zinc for over 80 years and have found nothing else that will turn “mushy” rubber into a hard solid mass suitable for tires. Mandating a change is not going to drive technology in this instance. SB 1260 has now been amended into legislation seeking stormwater project funding.

There remain many other environmental bills still active and, for the most part, ominous. To see the most important, go to CMTA’s legislative update.

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