Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
AB 1159 (Gordon, Williams) – SUPPORT
As Amended April 6, 2015
AB 1159, by Assembly Member Richard Gordon, would establish a Product Stewardship Pilot Program, which would require producers and product stewardship organizations of covered products- either home generated sharps waste or household batteries, to develop and implement a product stewardship plan. CSAC strongly supports EPR programs as we believe it is an excellent component of the state’s overall hazardous waste reduction strategy. EPR creates a specific role for the producers of toxic and expensive-to-manage products and ensures that industries that profit from these products have a stake in their proper management and disposal. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 13, 2015.
AB 901 (Gordon) – Request for Comments
As Introduced February 26, 2015
Assembly Bill 901, by Assembly Member Richard Gordon, would strengthen the requirement of solid waste operators to provide data to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Under existing law, solid waste operators – waste haulers, landfill operators, transfer station managers, composters, etc. – are required to provide information to local governments which can include disposal tonnages that are disposed, the origin of solid wastes, and the types and quantities of materials that are disposed of, sold to end users, or sold to exporters or transporters for sale outside of the state. Existing law also requires counties to submit periodic reports to CalRecycle that are largely based on the data received from the above-mentioned solid waste operators. This information is vital in determining a jurisdiction’s evaluation in meeting recycling targets. Therefore, local agencies need timely, accurate, and reliable information. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and localities have very little tools to ensure proper information gathering compliance by solid waste operators. This bill would address this issue by mandating solid waste operators to report directly to CalRecycle. And, it allows local governments to access this information. The bill also includes an enforcement component to ensure that Cal Recycle would receive this information. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 13, 2015.
AB 876 (McCarty) – OPPOSE
As Amended April 6, 2015
AB 876, by Assembly Member McCarty, would require each Countywide Siting Element to provide an estimate of the total organics processing capacity that will be needed over a 15-year period. While we understand the intent of the AB 876, we have strong objections to the approach outlined in this bill. Counties are currently required to include this type of information about total organics processing capacity within their organic waste recycling programs, not their Countywide Siting Element, which is focused on disposal, not recycling. CSAC believes that requiring jurisdictions to estimate capacity for a 15-year period is premature as the state and local jurisdictions are in the process of implementing last year’s AB 1826, the law that established the commercial organics recycling program. In addition, requiring this information to be included in the Countywide Siting Element would be a costly and time intensive process for no added benefit. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 13, 2015.
AB 45 (Mullin) – OPPOSE
As Amended March 19, 2015
AB 45, by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, would require jurisdictions to create a baseline for household hazardous waste (HHW) diversion and meet an unspecified requirement for HHW diversion. This bill also makes findings outlining the preference for door-to-door HHW collection programs and allows Cal Recycle to create a model ordinance for a door-to-door collection and diversion program. CSAC has a number of concerns with the bill. First, AB 45 would take away the incentive for the Legislature to pass any additional Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation for products that are banned from our landfills. Requiring local governments to collect a certain amount of HHW places the burden of the end-of-life management of toxic products squarely on local governments and tax payers rather than the companies that profit from the products. Secondly, door-to-door collection programs are not the only method of HHW collection, and in many jurisdictions, it is not the preferred method. Local governments are better suited to design and implement HHW programs that are appropriate for their community. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Local Government Committee on April 22, 2015.
AB 291 (Medina) – Request for Comments
As Proposed to be Amended
AB 291, by Assembly Member Jose Medina, would streamline the final notice of determination process for certain water projects related to water transfers under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This bill, sponsored by the Association of California Water Agencies, would require an agency to: (1) file the notice of determination (NOD) in its home county; (2) file the NOD with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR); and (3) send copies to all of the other counties where the project is located. The statute of limitations then would be tied to the filing with OPR. Current law requires the filing of an NOD in each county that the water might travel through, in the case of a transfer. This bill would streamline that process by allowing for the NOD to be filed in the home county, with OPR and notice provided to each impacted county. The sponsors have reached out to CSAC for input on this bill. Please contact Cara Martinson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to review the proposed language. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 13, 2015.
AB 707 (Wood) – SUPPORT
As Amended April 6, 2015
AB 707, by Assembly Member Jim Wood, would repeal the ability for a landowner and the Department of Conservation to negotiate a cancellation penalty fee, of the Williamson Act, without the County’s input. In the case of a Williamson Act contract cancelation, the County Assessor, the landowner, and the California Department of Conservation (Department) are charged with coming up with an assessment of the property that is reflective of the fair market value. The assessment determination is then used as the base for setting the cost of the cancelation penalty fee. Existing law also allows a landowner and the Department to negotiate a cancellation penalty fee that leaves the County out of the discussion. AB 707 would help ensure that local government is engaged in negotiations with the landowner for the cancellation value of the land held under a Williamson Act contract. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Agriculture Committee on April 15, 2015.