2017 Legislative Summary

NCRA List of Active Priority Bills, 2017

Letters of Support – AB 319, 458, 509 and 1036                         CalRecycle
Letter of Strong Opposition – AB 655                                 (Status of Priority Bills)

2017 California Legislative Session Year End Summary

The first year of the 2017-2018 California Legislative Session began with 34 new Bills of interest to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (DRRR), or “CalRecycle”, including 22 Assembly Bills and 12 Senate Bills.

The 2017 Session ended with only 10 CalRecycle Priority Bills remaining, including 6 Assembly Bills and 4 Senate Bills. This Priority list no longer included AB 954, but did include AB 906 which emerged mid year. Five of these ten Bills had passed the legislature, and were enrolled for the governor’s consideration. Governor Brown signed into law all five of these Bills.

NCRA Supported Bills – Approved by Governor

During 2017, NCRA had written letters of support for 10 Bills. Below is a brief summary of the 4 Assembly Bills and 1 Senate Bill that passed the Legislature, for which NCRA had written Letters to Gov. Brown urging his signature. He eventually approved all five, which presumably will become law effective January 1, 2018. Each Bill has been “Chaptered” by the Secretary of State, within the designated Chapter, Statutes of 2017. For further descriptions and details, visit CalRecycle Current Priority Bills.

AB 954 Chiu D) Organic waste: reduction.  Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
Would require CalRecycle’s organic waste reduction targets to include progress of industry efforts and federal legislation to reduce consumer food waste, including the adoption of uniform labels on food. By adding to the duties of local governments related to organic waste in landfills, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
10/14/17 Approved by the Governor. Chapter 787.

AB 1158 Chu D) Carpet recycling.  Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)  
Current law requires a manufacturer of carpets sold in this state to submit to CalRecycle a carpet stewardship plan that meets specified requirements. This bill will provide that it is the goal of the state to reach a 24% recycling rate for postconsumer carpet by January 1, 2020, and to meet or exceed that rate continually thereafter.
10/14/17 Approved by the Governor. Chapter 794.

AB 1219 Eggman D) Food donations.   Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
The California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act specifies that a food facility that donates any food to a nonprofit charitable organization or a food bank is not liable for any damage or injury resulting from the consumption of the food, except for negligence or a willful act. This bill will expand these provisions to persons and gleaners who donate food.
10/09/17 Approved by the Governor. Chapter 619.

AB 1294 Berman D) Solid waste: plastic products.   Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
Current law, until January 1, 2018, requires a manufacturer or supplier, making an environmental marketing claim relating to the recycled content of a plastic food container, to maintain supportive written information and documentation in its records, with the imposition of a civil penalty for a violation. This bill will postpone the repeal of such provisions until January 1, 2028.
10/11/17 Approved by the Governor. Chapter 664

Remaining CalRecycle Bill, No NCRA Position

The following is one additional CalRecycle Priority Bill approved by Gov. Brown, which previously had been recommended to the Board for NCRA support, but did not receive consent.

AB 906 Bloom D) Beverage containers: polyethylene terephthalate
For purposes of California’s 1-7 plastic resin code labeling requirements, this Bill revises the definition of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to exclude polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG). PET has a much higher processing temperature than PETG. When processed together, PETG melts and sticks to solid PET chips, forming large clumps that cannot be processed. By revising the definition of PET to exclude PETG, the materials can be effectively sorted prior to recycling.
10/15/17 Approved by the Governor. Chapter 823.

NCRA Supported Bills – Failed in Legislature

Below is a summary of 6 Bills, for which NCRA had written letters of support, that were delayed, withdrawn, or never passed both the Assembly and Senate, and thus became two-year Bills, presumably to be re-introduced in early 2018.

AB 319 Stone, Mark D) Recycling: single-use plastic beverage container caps.
This bill would prohibit a retailer from selling or offering for sale a single-use plastic beverage container with a cap that is not tethered to or contiguously affixed to the beverage container. This Bill would curb the proliferation of plastic beverage caps which litter in-lands, contribute to marine plastic pollution, and are hazardous to wildlife.
04/17/17 In committee Asm Natural Resources: Hearing postponed by committee.

AB 509 Frazier D) Tire recycling: Ca tire regulatory fee and waste tire program.  Generic Letter (MS Word)
Would require a waste tire generator, that is a retail seller, to pay a tire regulatory fee up to $1.00 per new tire sold, for deposit in the California Tire Recycling Management Fund, towards providing incentive payments to increase the state’s used tires recycling rate, and allow recyclers to compete with disposal, export, and illegal dumping alternatives.
05/31/17 Passed Assembly Floor: 45 Ayes, 30 Noes, 5 NVR (No Vote Recorded). Ordered to the Senate.

AB 1036 McCarty D) Organic waste: composting.   Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
Bill would require Cal EPA with other agencies to assess the progress towards developing the organic materials processing and recycling infrastructure, including the permitting process, to ensure that state agency actions are consistent with diverting organics to composting facilities, in order to facilitate the state’s organic waste diversion goals while reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
05/04/17 Passed Assembly Floor: 76 Ayes, 0 Noes, 4 NVR. Ordered to the Senate.

.AB 1288 Eggman D) Solid waste: charges.  Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 requires disposal facility operators to pay a solid waste disposal fee of $1.40 per ton maximum, for specified purposes, including administration and implementation of the act. This bill would require that a prudent reserve also be maintained.
05/22/17 Passed Assembly Floor 58 Ayes, 13 Noes, 9 NVR. Ordered to the Senate.

AB 1594 (Bloom) Ocean Plastic Pollution – Takeout Food Packaging.   Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
AB 1594 directs the Ocean Protection Council to study the sources and types of ocean plastic pollution and to come up with recommendations for strategies to reduce ocean plastic pollution. Up to 80% of ocean pollution is litter from urban runoff, and non-recyclable single-use food packaging is a primary component of urban litter.  Without state action to address the problem of ocean plastic pollution as a result of takeout food packaging litter and waste, local agencies have been left to enact a patch work of local restrictions.
05/30/17 Passed Assembly Floor: 74 Ayes, 0 Noes, 6 NVR. Ordered to the Senate.

SB 705 Allen D) Solid waste: disposable food service containers.  Generic Support Letter (MS-Word)
Would enact the Ocean Pollution Reduction Act of 2017, which would prohibit a food provider, on and after January 1, 2021, from dispensing prepared food to a customer in a disposable food service container, unless the container is accepted for recovery by a recycling or composting program.
06/01/17 Ordered to inactive file on request of Senator Allen.
05/31/17 Refused passage in Senate: 15 Ayes, 19 Noes, 6 NVR.

NCRA Opposed Bill – Failed in Legislature

AB 655 O’Donnell D) California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.  Generic Oppose Letter (MS-Word)
This bill would repeal existing provisions of the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) which provide that combustion of municipal solid waste (MSW) is not an eligible renewable energy resource, to instead provide that a facility engaged in such transformation of MSW, that operates at least 20 percent below pollutant concentration limits, is eligible, and can earn renewable energy credits.
04/24/17 In Nat. Res. committee: Set, first hearing. Failed passage. Reconsideration granted.