PCL Priorities as Legislature Goes into Summer Recess

Last Friday, the California Legislature breaks for Summer Recess. Following is a status update on priority bills for the Planning and Conservation League. All of these bills are either on their way to Appropriations to assess whether or not the state can accommodate the fiscal impact of the bill, or have made it to the last step before making to the Governor’s desk – the Floor of the bill’s opposite house of origin.

PCL Sponsored Legislation

AB 320 (Hill) – This bill makes clarifying amendments to CEQA to ensure that all parties with a direct interest in a case brought pursuant the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) are aware of the pending litigation and parties with no direct link to the case are not unnecessarily dragged into a lawsuit. The bill was pulled from the Appropriations Committee after it was determined it would have zero fiscal impact.  Currently this bill is headed to the Floor, for a full Senate vote.

PCL Support

AB 359 (Huffman) – Bill promotes the management and protection of the state’s groundwater supplies by requiring, as a condition of receiving a state grants or loans, local water agencies to map prime areas of groundwater recharge. The bill also requires local groundwater agencies to submit recharge maps to local planning agencies and expand public notification when preparing and approving groundwater plans. This bill will be heard in Senate Appropriations.

AB 938 (V. Manuel Pérez) –  This bill, part of the Human Right to Water Bill Package, would require the public water system provide a written and non written public notice in English, Spanish, and in the language spoken by prescribed numbers of residents of the community served, in the event the public water system does not meet safe water drinking requirements. This bill will be heard in Senate Appropriations.

SB 568 (Lowenthal) – This bill would ban the use of polystyrene food containers. Polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, is hazardous to the environment and human health. It is a major cause of storm drain flooding, which is a huge cost to municipalities, and often ends up in waterways where it destroys natural ecosystems. Polystyrene factory workers are exposed to toxic chemicals during production and consumers that eat out of these containers ingest chemicals that are probable carcinogens and neurotoxins. This bill will be heard in Assembly Appropriations.

SB 833 (Vargas) – This bill would prohibit the use of a solid waste landfill located in San DiegoCounty.  This landfill is located within 1,000 feet of both the San Luis Rey River and a Native American sacred site. This bill will be heard in Assembly Appropriations.

PCL Opposition

AB 1178 (Ma) – is a bill designed to prevent local governments from restricting the importation of solid waste into their jurisdiction. Cities and counties would be unable to control the size, location and operation of landfills. This bill incentivizes landfills at a time whenCalifornia should be developing strategies to reduce, recycle and divert solid waste inCalifornia. Currently this bill is headed to the Floor, for a full Senate vote

The California State Legislature reconvenes Monday, August 15th. We’ll be contacting you before then in hopes of getting your support for PCL’s position on these important bills.