CSAC Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Legislative Update
July 7, 2022
Last week, the Legislature was in a flurry of action ahead of the July recess. Much of what was accomplished centered around the state budget and associated trailer bills, which you can read about in CSAC’s Budget Action Bulletin. However, a number of other bills made critical moves through the Legislative process. Below are some of the key Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources (AENR) bill that were moved.
SB 54 (Allen) – Single-Use Food Ware. Beginning January 1, 2032, SB 54 requires manufactures of single-use packaging and plastic single-use food service ware to ensure that those products sold, distributed, or imported into the state are either recyclable or compostable. CSAC supported SB 54, and it was signed into law by the Governor.
Awaiting Legislative Action
AB 2201 (Bennet) – Groundwater. AB 2201 started as a bill to require a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) in a critically over-drafted basin to establish and implement a process to issue permits for groundwater extraction facilities by July 1, 2023. CSAC engaged with the author and committee to discuss implications of shifting well permitting away from the counties. However, amendments added on June 23, 2022, shift substantial procedural burdens from the well permittee to the local government. CSAC opposes AB 2201, which is awaiting a hearing by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AB 2550 (Arambula) – Air Pollution Control. AB 2550 would remove local control from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District by transferring responsibility to regulate stationary pollution sources to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB already has the authority to oversee local air quality management activities, and works closely in the development of air pollution plans. CSAC opposes AB 2550, which is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
SB 1186 (Weiner) – Medicinal Cannabis. SB 1186 was amended with the intent of improving access to medical cannabis, however, CSAC has serious concerns about the preservation of local control. The language would require all jurisdictions to allow for delivery sales of medicinal cannabis and prohibit regulations that would impose “unreasonable restrictions” on the sale of medicinal cannabis. CSAC opposes SB 1186, which will be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee in August.