CSAC Bulletin Article

New Laws for 2022: Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources

Governor Newsom met the October 10 deadline to take action on measures approved by the Legislature and delivered to his desk. To keep counties informed of new laws that impact them, CSAC will be publishing a series of articles to spotlight those laws in each policy area. This week, the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources policy area provides information on new laws affecting drought, wildfire and waste management and hazardous waste.

The new laws listed below become effective January 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted.

 

Drought

SB 552 (Hertzberg) – County drought task forces
SB 552 directs counties to establish a task force to facilitate drought preparedness. The bill was amended in the second house to require counties to include a question about dry wells in a new well permit application and to report information on dry and failing wells to relevant groundwater sustainability agencies and to the Department of Water Resources. CSAC pushed back on this and changes were made to remove the provision and CSAC’s oppose position.

 

Wildfire

AB 9 (Wood) – Community wildfire preparedness and mitigation
AB 9 establishes and codifies the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program with the goal of increasing regional capacity to create fire-adapted communities and landscapes. Often funding for fire prevention is limited to capital projects. Counties and their partners need funding to work on direct projects and capacity building to make landscape-level improvements to resiliency. CSAC strongly supported AB 9 and it was signed by the Governor.

SB 109 (Dodd) – Office of Emergency Services: Office of Technology Research
SB 109 establishes the Office of Wildfire Technology Research and Development in the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). This office will test and research tools and technology to prevent and suppress wildfires, and serve as the central point for the identification of emerging wildfire prevention technologies. CSAC supported SB 109 and it was signed by the Governor.

 

Waste Management & Hazardous Waste

SB 619 (Laird) – Vehicle for local government relief for organic waste rule implementation
SB 619 delays enforcement and adds support for counties implementing the SB 1383 organic waste provisions. Cost estimates from CalRecycle are over $20 billion, which will be born at the local level with some one-time state funding support for implementation and infrastructure development in 2022. CSAC supported SB 619 and it was signed by the Governor.

SB 343 (Allen) – Chasing arrows truth in labeling.
SB 343 prohibits the use of the chasing arrows symbol unless the material is actually recycled in most California communities and is routinely sold to manufacturers to make new products. CSAC supported SB 343 and it was signed by the Governor.

AB 332 (Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials) –Continues exemption program for Treated Wood Waste.
AB 332 facilitates the safe and proper handling and disposal of Treated Wood Waste (TWW) by codifying the Alternative Management Standards that sunset on January 1, 2021, to significantly ease the burdens associated with proper transportation, management, and disposal of TWW. CSAC supported SB 332 and it was signed by the Governor.

AB 480 (Carillo) – Hazardous substances
AB 480 strengthens the authority for local agencies to take immediate action against local threats to the public’s health and safety. This includes the ability for local jurisdictions to direct a facility, or a portion of a facility, to temporarily discontinue the operations that cause an exposure to hazardous waste or materials. CSAC supported AB 480 and it was signed by the Governor.

AB 818 (Bloom) – Labeling for non-disposable wipes
AB 818 establishes labeling requirements for wet wipes packaging so that Californians will know how to properly dispose of these products. Disposal information is inconsistent on wipes product labels and some wipes are advertised as “flushable” when they are instead intended for the trashcan. Since many wet wipes are made from plastic, they are not compatible with sewer systems and infrastructure and can cause great damage. CSAC strongly supported AB 818 and it was signed by the Governor.

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