CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Ag, Environment & Natural Resources List of Action Bills

March 14, 2019

The CSAC Ag, Environment & Natural Resources team has taken positions on the following bills:

SB 657 (Monning) – Support – Introduced 2.22.19: This bill would allow County Agricultural Commissioners to include cannabis crop information as an addendum in their annual county crop and livestock reports as transmitted to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Specifically, this bill would allow Agricultural Commissioners to voluntarily include state cultivator license type, local license type, price tier, production methods, and other pieces of important information in their annual reports. CSAC supports this bill because it will help create more data points around California’s cannabis market.

SB 54 (Allen) – Support – As amended 3.7.19: This bill would require the adoption of regulations to source reduce and recycle 75% of single-use packaging and products sold or distributed in California by 2030. This bill would also require that by 2030, all single-use plastic packaging distributed and used in California be recyclable or compostable. Since the major change in China’s policy import policy, called National Sword, materials are piling up at local waste facilities across state with no place to go. This has caused slowdowns in waste processing of other materials and public health risks. Market development is an important part of the solution, but source reduction is a key component to waste management as well. CSAC supports this bill because it may help close the loop and also develop incentives and policies to encourage in-state manufacturing using recycled material generated in California.

SB 205 (Hertzberg) – Concerns – Introduced 2.4.19: This would require counties to verify a business’ compliance with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) prior to the issuance or renewal of a local business license. CSAC has concerns with this well intended bill. First, there are a number of counties across the state that do not issue business licenses. Second, some counties have business licenses that are only required for limited set of activities that may not intersect with the regulated industries that would be impacted by the bill including heavy manufacturing, coal, hazardous waste, landfills, scrapyards, steam power plants, vehicle maintenance facilities, domestic sewage facilities, construction sites over 5 acres. Third, many counties use a ministerial or “over the counter” process to issue licenses. We appreciate the author’s intent in trying to develop compliance with the NPDES program to help protect California’s water quality. CSAC supports efforts to improve water quality, but has concerns with this bill. We suggest that since a business license is not a universal tool that this bill be permissive rather than a requirement of local governments. See CSAC’s Concerns letter here.

SB 19 (Dodd) – Support – As amended 2.28.19: This bill would require the Department of Water Resources to collaborate and develop a plan to deploy a network of stream gages in California’s streams in order to provide better data about California’s vital ecosystems. CSAC supports this bill because data collection and accurate measurements are vital in good policy making; you cannot manage what you can’t measure.

SB 190 (Dodd) – Support – 3.5.19: This bill would require the creation of a model defensible space program and would help provide important Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) safety information to building officials and the general public. The bill proposes the use of a collaborative approach in the development of the model ordinance. CSAC supports this bill and efforts to create a model defensible space ordinance and the wide spread sharing of important WUI safety information.

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