Update on 2019 Environmental Legislation: What Remains?

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Now that the house of origin deadline has passed, and we are basically at the mid-point in the California Legislative Session, we can take a look at pending legislation with particular attention to the bills that will continue along the legislative process in the second house. The focus of this article is on environmental legislation. The following are the major environmental bills of particular interest to the California business community:

AB 138 (Bloom) – Sweetened beverage tax

This bill, subject to specified exemptions, would impose a fee on every distributor for the privilege of distributing bottled sugary drinks and concentrate in the state at a rate of $0.02 per fluid ounce and for the privilege of distributing syrups and powders concentrate in this state, either as concentrate or as sweetened beverages derived from that concentrate, at the rate of $0.02 per fluid ounce of sweetened beverage to be produced from concentrate.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

AB 142 (Cristina Garcia) – lead acid battery fee

This bill would, on and after April 1, 2022, increase the amount of the manufacturer battery fee to $2 and would provide that the fee would continue indefinitely. The bill, on and after January 1, 2020, would authorize a person who manufactures a lead-acid battery and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the state to agree in writing with the importer of that lead-acid battery to pay the manufacturer battery fee on behalf of the importer.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 161 (Ting) – Paper receipt ban

This bill, on and after January 1, 2022, would require a business, defined as a company that accepts payment through credit or debit transactions, subject to certain exceptions, to provide a proof of purchase to a consumer only at the consumer’s option and would prohibit a business from printing a paper proof of purchase if the consumer opts to not receive a proof of purchase, unless otherwise required by state or federal law.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 342 (Muratsuchi) – Oil and gas prohibition

This bill would prohibit any state agency, department, or commission, or any local trustee with leasing authority over public lands within the state from entering into any new lease or other conveyance authorizing new construction of oil- and gas-related infrastructure upon public lands, including tidelands and submerged lands, to support production of oil and natural gas upon federal lands that are designated as, or were at any time designated as, federally protected lands.

Status: Pending in Senate fiscal committee

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) – Oil and gas operations

This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2020, all new oil and gas, development or enhancement operation that is not on federal land to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic.

Status: Held in Assembly fiscal committee

AB 457 (Quirk) – Permissible lead levels

This bill would require Cal-OSHA to conduct rulemaking in conjunction with the standards board to complete the rulemaking and adopt the lead standards in the regulations no later than February 1, 2020. The bill would authorize the adoption of emergency regulations by the standards board as necessary to implement these provisions.

Status: Pending in Senate fiscal committee

AB 495 (Muratsuchi) – Cosmetics safety

This bill would prescribe that a cosmetic is adulterated if it contains asbestos, lead, or any of several specified intentionally added ingredients.

Status: Held in Assembly policy committee

AB 647 (Kalra) – Cosmetics

This bill would require the manufacturer of a hazardous substance or mixture of substances that constitute a cosmetic, or are used to disinfect, that is required to create an MSDS, to post the MSDS to an internet website at which the public may find it and access it by its brand name or other commonly known name.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 729 (Chu) – Carpet recycling

This bill would require a carpet stewardship organization to include in the carpet stewardship plan a contingency plan should the carpet stewardship plan expire without approval of a new carpet stewardship plan or should the carpet stewardship plan be revoked. The bill would require a carpet stewardship organization to set up a trust fund or an escrow account, into which the bill would require the organization to deposit sufficient funds to implement the programs in the carpet stewardship plan for a period of one year, in the event that the carpet stewardship plan terminates or is revoked.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 792 (Ting) – Mandated recycling content

This bill, on and after January 1, 2021, would require a plastic beverage container filled with a beverage by a beverage manufacturer to contain, on average, specified amounts of postconsumer recycled plastic content pursuant to a tiered plan that would require the beverage container to contain, on average, no less than 75% postconsumer recycled plastic content on and after January 1, 2030.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 815 (Aguiar-Curry) – Dual stream recycling

This bill would require the department to consider whether the jurisdiction has implemented a dual stream recycling program when considering if the jurisdiction has made a good faith effort to implement its source reduction and recycling element or household hazardous waste element.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 841 (Ting) – Drinking water

This bill would require the office to adopt and complete a work plan within prescribed timeframes to assess which substances in the class of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances should be identified as a potential risk to human health.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 937 (Robert Rivas) – Waste discharge

This bill would authorize a regional board to approve a waste discharge requirement for the use or reuse of produced water from an oil and gas operation for agricultural purposes or for groundwater recharge, only if, after a public hearing, it finds that the California Council on Science and Technology has reviewed the best available independent scientific evidence and has found the use will not pose a significant risk to the public from any contaminants in the produced water.

Status: Held in Assembly policy committee

AB 1080 (Gonzalez) – Plastic recycling

This bill would enact the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which would establish the policy goal of the state that, by 2030, manufacturers and retailers achieve a 75% reduction of the waste generated from single-use packaging and products offered for sale or sold in the state through source reduction, recycling, or composting. The bill would require the department, before January 1, 2023, to adopt regulations that require manufacturers and retailers to source reduce, to the maximum extent feasible, single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products, as defined, and to ensure that all single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products in the California market are recyclable or compostable.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 1083 (Burke) – Energy infrastructure procurement

This bill would, until January 1, 2023, request the council upon request by the chairperson of a fiscal committee or certain policy committees of either the Assembly or Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, or the President pro Tempore of the Senate, to undertake and complete an analysis of the effects of legislation proposing to mandate procurement of electricity products, gas products, energy storage resources, or electrical or gas infrastructure by an electrical corporation, gas corporation, community choice aggregator, electric service provider, local publicly owned electric or gas utility, or any state-level energy procurement entity.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 1445 (Gloria) – Climate change declaration

The bill would state the intent of the Legislature that the state Undertake various immediate and large-scale efforts, including conversion of the economy to zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2030, with an immediate phaseout of fossil fuels.

Status: Held in Assembly policy committee

AB 1500 (Carrillo) – Hazardous substances

This bill would repeal the provision authorizing a UPA to suspend or revoke a unified program facility permit, or an element of a unified program facility permit, for not paying the permit fee or a fine or penalty associated with the permit.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

AB 1672 (Bloom) – Flushable products

This bill would, among other things, on or after January 1, 2021, prohibit a covered entity, as defined, from labeling a covered product as safe to flush, safe for sewer systems, or safe for septic systems, unless the product is a flushable wipe that meets certain performance standards.

Status: Held in Assembly fiscal committee

AB 1788 (Bloom) – Pesticides

This bill would create the California Ecosystems Protection Act of 2019 and expand this prohibition against the use of a pesticide containing specified anticoagulants in wildlife habitat areas to the entire state.

Status: Pending in Senate policy committee

SB 1 (Atkins) – Environmental defense act

This bill would require specified agencies to take prescribed actions regarding certain federal requirements and standards pertaining to air, water, and protected species, as specified. This bill would authorize a person acting in the public interest to bring an action to enforce certain federal standards and requirements incorporated into certain of the mentioned state laws if specified conditions are satisfied.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

SB 43 (Stern) – Carbon tax study

This bill would require the state board, no later than January 1, 2022, to submit a report to the Legislature on the findings from a study, as specified, to determine the feasibility and practicality of assessing the carbon intensity of all retail products subject to the tax imposed pursuant to the Sales and Use Tax Law.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

SB 50 (Wiener) – Housing development

This bill would authorize a development proponent of a neighborhood multifamily project located on an eligible parcel to submit an application for a streamlined, ministerial approval process that is not subject to a conditional use permit.

Status: Held in Senate fiscal committee

SB 54 (Allen) – Plastic recycling

This bill would enact the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which would establish the policy goal of the state that, by 2030, manufacturers and retailers achieve a 75% reduction of the waste generated from single-use packaging and products offered for sale or sold in the state through source reduction, recycling, or composting. The bill would require the department, before January 1, 2023, to adopt regulations that require manufacturers and retailers to source reduce, to the maximum extent feasible, single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products, as defined, and to ensure that all single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products in the California market are recyclable or compostable.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

SB 69 (Wiener) – Ocean resiliency

This bill would impose various forest practice requirements on a person who discharges sediment into a Class I, II, or III watercourse pursuant to a timber harvesting plan and would require the regional boards to incorporate those requirements into any applicable waste discharge requirements to manage controllable sources of sediment, achieve water quality objectives, and protect beneficial uses.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

SB 392 (Allen) – Consumer products

This bill would authorize the department, in lieu of requiring the analysis of alternatives, following public notice and an opportunity for all interested parties to comment, to instead rely on all or part of one or more publicly available analyses of alternatives to the chemical of concern under consideration, in existence at the time of consideration, and to proceed directly to a regulatory response.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

SB 458 (Durazo) – Pesticides

This bill would prohibit the use of a pesticide that contains the active ingredient chlorpyrifos. The bill would make this provision effective unless and until the director adopts control measures for chlorpyrifos and the Director of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the chairperson of the State Air Resources Board determine, by clear and convincing evidence, that those control measures will not result in neurodevelopmental or other harm to children after taking into account the potential effects of consuming food or water contaminated with chlorpyrifos that was used in compliance with those control measures, and will not negatively impact sensitive receptors, as defined.

Status: Held in Senate fiscal committee

SB 574 (Leyva) – Cosmetics

This bill would, commencing July 1, 2020, require a manufacturer of a cosmetic product sold in the state to disclose to the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control a list of each fragrance ingredient or flavor ingredient that is included on a designated list and a list of each fragrance allergen that is present in the cosmetic product in specified concentrations.

Status: Pending in Assembly policy committee

SB 732 (Allen) –SCAQMD tax authority

This bill would authorize the south coast district board to impose a transactions and use tax within the boundaries of the south coast district with the moneys generated from the transactions and use tax to be used to supplement existing revenues being used for south coast district purposes, as specified.

Status: Held in Senate fiscal committee

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on September 13, and Governor Gavin Newsom will have 30 days to act on measures sent to him by that date. We’ll check back after final actions take place on these and other measures.

Chris Micheli is a legislative advocate with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

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