2015 Legislative Summary

NCRA Advocacy and Support of 2015-2016 California Legislative Session Bills, 2015

The first year of the session for 2015 began with 44 Bills of interest to Cal Recycle, including 34 Assembly Bills and 10 Senate Bills. The first year ended October 11, 2015, with Governor Brown signing into law all eight of the Bills that had passed both the Assembly and Senate.

NRCA had written letters to Gov. Brown urging his signature for the passage of five of the Bills:

AB 199, Eggman. Sales tax exemption for using recycled feedstock. Signed 10/11/15
Existing law provides financial assistance for projects that promote the use of alternative energies. This bill expands projects eligible for the sales and use tax exclusion to include projects that process or utilize recycled feedstock, but would not include a project that processes or utilizes recycled feedstock in a manner that constitutes disposal. This bill took effect immediately, as an urgency statute, “for the protection of the public health and environment”.

AB 876, McCarty. Composting, local government planning for organics processing. Signed 10/08/15
This Bill requires county and regional agencies to report annually to CalRecycle on additional organic materials recycling facilities capacity to meet 15-year projections of organic materials generation, and to identify locations for such new or expanded recycling facilities to meet that additional need, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. These advance reporting and planning measures will allow CalRecycle to better achieve diversion of organic materials from California landfills, currently estimated at 12 million tons annually, towards meeting the statewide goal of 75% diversion by 2020. This bill will commence August 1, 2017.

AB 888, Bloom. Plastic microbeads prohibition/restriction. Signed 10/08/15
Bill prohibits a person, as defined, from selling or offering for promotional purposes a personal care product containing plastic microbeads that are used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product, as specified. The bill exempts the sale or promotional offer of a product containing less than 1 part per million (ppm) by weight of plastic microbeads. Bill makes a violator liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 per day for each violation. Bill will commence January 1, 2020.

AB 901, Gordon. Disposal enforcement authority for CalRecycle. Signed 10/10/15
This far-reaching bill imposes new reporting requirements to CalRecycles by 1) waste disposal facilities, 2) recycling and composting operations, plus 3) all exporters, brokers and transporters of recyclables and compost. Local governments are not directly involved in the data collection. Various protections of confidential information are allowed; rules will follow in 2016. AB 901 also strengthens CalRecycle’s fraud enforcement authority by allowing the imposition of civil penalties against those who willfully falsify or fail to submit timely, complete or accurate waste flow information. Instances and long-term patterns of misreporting in DRS, with no penalties or other enforcement options, had defrauded local jurisdictions and the state out of millions of dollars in revenue. AB 901 took effect on January 1, 2016.

AB 1045, Irwin. Streamlined permitting, enhance composting to reduce GHG. Signed 10/08/15
This bill requires CalEPA to ensure better coordination among the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the Air Resources Board (ARB), and the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), to develop and implement policies to encourage and aid in diverting organic waste from landfills, by promoting the composting of specified organic waste, and the appropriate use of that compost throughout the state. The bill requires CalEPA with the CDFA to promote a goal of reducing at least 5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year through the development and application of compost on working lands. The bill requires the development of a much needed coordinating policy that streamlines the compost permitting process and regulation of composting facilities, while protecting the environment. AB 1045 became law on January 1, 2016.

There were three other Bills that were monitored by CalRecycle and signed into law by Gov. Brown, which NCRA did not actively support, but favored their passage:

AB 1071 – Supplemental environmental projects benefiting disadvantaged communities. Signed 10/08/15
SB 162 – Treated wood waste public disclosures. Signed 9/28/15
SB 662 – Recycling market development zones funding. Signed 10/02/15