BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 258|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 258
          Author:   Krekorian (D), et al
          Amended:  8/27/07 in Senate
          Vote:     21

          AYES:  Simitian, Florez, Kuehl, Lowenthal, Steinberg
          NOES:  Runner, Aanestad

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  : 9-7, 08/30/07
          AYES: Torlakson, Cedillo, Corbett, Florez, Kuehl, Oropeza,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Steinberg, Yee
          NOES: Cox, Aanestad, Ashburn, Battin, Dutton, Runner,  
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Simitian

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  44-35, 6/5/07 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Water quality: plastic discharges

          SOURCE  :     Heal the Bay
                      Environment California
                      Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi
                      San Diego CoastKeeper

           DIGEST  :    This bill establishes the Preproduction Plastic  
          Debris Program under the Stat Water Resources Control Board  
          to reduce the amount of preproduction plastics entering the  
          marine environment.



                                                                AB 258

           ANALYSIS  :    The Marine Plastic Pollution Research and  
          Control Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-220, Title II),  
          prohibits the at-sea disposal of plastic and other solid  
          materials for all navigable waters within the United  
          States.  The law requires the US Environmental Protection  
          Agency (USEPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric  
          Administration, and the US Coast Guard to jointly conduct a  
          public education program on the marine environment.

          Existing law requires USEPA to develop a National Marine  
          Debris Monitoring Program designed to assess the  
          effectiveness of the current national marine debris  
          legislation.  Monitoring under this program takes place at  
          designated beaches every 28 days.

          The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter  
          Reduction Act of 1986, provides funding and education  
          programs to reduce beverage container litter.

          The Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (Act), requires  
          cities and counties to divert 50 percent of their solid  
          waste by 2000.  The Act provides various programs to reduce  
          litter and educate consumers about the importance of  

          The federal Clean Water Act, requires the state to identify  
          a list of impaired water-bodies and develop and implement  
          Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired water  

          The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, regulates  
          discharges of pollutants in storm-water and urban runoff by  
          regulating, through the National Pollution Discharge  
          Elimination System (NPDES), industrial discharges and  
          discharges through the municipal storm drain systems of  
          communities with populations under 100,000 and communities  
          with greater than 100,000 and from 11 categories of  
          industrial activity.

          This bill:

          1.Defines "preproduction plastic" as plastic resin pellets  
            and powdered coloring for plastics.



                                                                AB 258

          2.Requires the SWRCB and RWQCBs by January 1, 2009, to  
            implement a program for the control of discharges of  
            preproduction plastics from point and nonpoint sources,  
            including waste discharge, monitoring, and reporting  
            requirements that, at a minimum, target plastic  
            manufacturing, handling, and transportation facilities,  
            and the implementation of specified minimum best  
            management practices for the control of discharges of  
            preproduction plastic.

          3.Requires the SWRCB to determine the appropriate  
            regulatory methods to address the discharges form point  
            and nonpoint sources.

          4.Requires SWRCB, in developing the program, to consult  
            with any RWQCB, with plastic manufacturing, handling, and  
            transportation facilities located within the RWQCB's  
            jurisdiction, which has already voluntarily implemented a  
            program to control discharges of preproduction plastic.

          According to US Environmental Protection Agency, marine  
          debris has become a problem along shorelines, coastal  
          waters, estuaries, and oceans throughout the world.  It is  
          commonly defined as any man-made, solid material that  
          enters our waterways directly or indirectly.  Objects  
          ranging from detergent bottles, plastic bags, paper cups,  
          preproduction plastic, hazardous medical wastes, cigarette  
          butts and discarded fishing line all qualify as marine  
          debris.  In addition to being unsightly, it poses a serious  
          threat to everything with which it comes into contact.   
          Marine debris can be life threatening to marine organisms  
          and can wreak havoc on coastal communities and the fishing  

          In general, there are two types of marine debris that  
          pollute our ocean and coastline in California.  The first  
          is from ocean sources, and includes waste discharged by  
          ships, recreational boaters and fishermen, and offshore oil  
          and gas exploration and production facilities.  The second,  
          and by far more environmentally destructive, type of marine  
          debris is from the land.  This type of debris includes  
          stormwater runoff, solid waste, floating structures, poorly  



                                                                AB 258

          maintained garbage bins and dumps and is transmitted to the  
          marine environment by waterways.  Land based litter  
          constitutes nearly 80 percent of the marine debris found on  
          our beaches and oceans, and 90 percent of it is plastic. 

          When debris from the land reaches the beaches and ocean,  
          marine life is often threatened because they confuse the  
          debris for food.  Small pieces of preproduction plastic,  
          plastic cups, bags, and cigarette filters are often found  
          in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales, and other marine  

          Recent studies by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation  
          and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project  
          have found that the average mass of plastics in the  
          seawater off the coast of Long Beach is two and a half  
          times greater than the average mass of plankton.  After  
          storms with excessive runoff, the mass of plastics is even  
          greater.  A similar study over seawater 1,000 miles west of  
          San Francisco found the mass of plastics was six times the  
          mass of plankton in drifts where marine animals congregate  
          for feeding on plankton.

           Total Maximum Daily Loads  .  According to USEPA, a TMDL is a  
          calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a  
          waterbody can receive and still meet water quality  
          standards, and an allocation of that amount to the  
          pollutant's sources.  Water quality standards are  
          established by state and identify the uses for each  
          waterbody, for example, drinking water supply, contact  
          recreation (swimming), and fishing, and the scientific  
          criteria to support that use.  A TMDL is the sum of the  
          allowable loads a single pollutant from all contributing  
          point and nonpoint sources.  One of the smaller categories  
          of pollutants that affect TMDLs is "trash TMDLs" or  
          waterbodies that are considered to be impaired due to  
          trash.  Under a consent decree, the USEPA must establish  
          TMDLs for trash in all impaired waters in the state.  TMDLs  
          have already been established by the Los Angeles RWQCB for  
          the Los Angeles River and the Ballona Creek Watershed,  
          requiring that the amount of trash be drastically reduced  
          to protect water and beneficial uses.

           Operation Clean Sweep  .  The plastics industry attempted to  



                                                                AB 258

          address the release of preproduction plastics into the  
          marine environment by developing a voluntary program called  
          Operation Clean Sweep.  This program, developed by the  
          Society of Plastics Industry and the American Plastics  
          Council, developed BMPs to reduce discharges of  
          preproduction plastic through proper handling and cleanup.   
          Where implemented, Operation Clean Sweep has been shown to  
          reduce the release of preproduction plastic.  However,  
          because the program is voluntary and many plastic  
          manufacturers and processors have chosen not to implement  
          its recommendations, AB 258 will put in place uniform  
          requirements that will better prevent preproduction  
          plastics from entering the marine environment.

          According to the author's office, approximately 60 billion  
          pounds of preproduction plastic is manufactured annually in  
          the US.  These plastics are discharged into waterways  
          during transport, packaging, and processing when proper  
          housekeeping practices are not employed.  Because of their  
          small size, these materials are not generally captured  
          through traditional storm water catch basins.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee analysis:

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions                     2007-08     2008-09   2009-10   

          Reissue General Industrial         $65       $65         

          Review, Process & Issue            $91       $78         
          Notices of Intent

          Non-exposure certifications/       $156      $299        



                                                                AB 258

            Notice of Non-applicability

          Review Annual Reports                   $520      $520       

          Inspections and enforcement        $408 $2,042$2,042       

          Contracts                     $137      $87       $87       

          Implementation (general)           $130      $293 $293       

          *Waste Discharge Permit Fund, funded through fees.

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee analysis,  
          SWRCB estimates that there are approximately 2,700 plastics  
          facilities statewide, but that only a few (no more than  
          one-third) of these facilities are currently enrolled under  
          the general industrial permit.

          The current fee for facilities enrolled under the General  
          Industrial storm Water Permit is $700 per year.  SERCB does  
          not have a current fee for no exposure, but for the  
          purposes of providing staff with an estimate for this bill,  
          used $200 per year.  SERCB estimates that statewide costs  
          to implement this bill includes seven positions in the  
          first year, 20.25 position in the second year and seven and  
          one-quarter position annually thereafter.  The costs  
          include re-issuance of the general industrial storm water  
          permit with expanded coverage to include all preproduction  
          plastics facilities or issuance of a separate general  
          permit for plastics facilities, development of no-exposure  
          criteria, enrollment of facilities in the program,  
          inspections, and enforcement.  Contract costs will amount  
          to $137,000 in the first year, and $162,000 in subsequent  
          years, this accounts for database development, student  
          assistance, travel to complete inspections, and possible  
          judicial enforcement through the Attorney General's Office.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/31/07)

          Heal the Bay (co-source)



                                                                AB 258

          Environment California (co-source)
          Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi (co-source)
          San Diego CoastKeeper (co-source)
          Algalita Marine Research Foundation
          American Chemistry Council
          Ballona Creek Renaissance
          California Animal Association
          California Coastal Coalition (coastal cities and counties)
          California Coastal Commission
          California League of Conservation Voters
          Californians Against Waste
          City of Los Angeles
          Coastkeeper Alliance
          Defenders of Wildlife
          Earth Resource Foundation
          Environment California
          Marin County Board of Supervisors
          National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
          National Resources Defense Council
          Newport Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation
          Ocean Conservation Society
          Planning and Conservation League
          San Diego Coastkeeper 
          San Diego Surfrider Foundation
          Santa Monica Baykeeper
          Sierra Club California
          Stop Waste ORG
          Surf Industry Manufacturers Association
          World Centric

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/31/07)

          Stop Hidden Tax Coalition

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT :    According to the author's office,  
          "The world's oceans are being inundated with marine debris.  
           The vast majority of marine debris comes from land-based  
          sources, especially by way of stormwater run-off.

          "Research indicates that as much as 90 percent of floating  
          marine debris is plastic.  In fact, scientists estimate  
          that in large areas of the central Pacific Ocean, hundreds  
          of miles from land, there is six times more plastic than  



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          plankton.  Right now, over 45,000 pieces of plastic are  
          floating on every square mile of ocean.

          "We have all seen the evidence on our beaches - the bottles  
          and caps, six pack rings, food containers and so on that  
          defile our precious coastline.  But there is a less obvious  
          but far more ubiquitous type of plastic debris in the form  
          of small -preproduction plastic pellets like these.  Know  
          in industry as "nurdles," these pellets can be the size of  
          BBs or even smaller, and they are the basic component used  
          in the fabrication of most plastic products - from milk  
          bottles to medical devices - from plastic wrap to cell  
          phones.  In the United States alone, 60 billion pounds of  
          these pellets are manufactured every year.

          "To give you some sense of the magnitude of this problem,  
          in a recent study of Orange County beaches, over 90% of the  
          plastic debris found consisted of nurdles.

          "Despite the somewhat silly name, nurdles aren't just an  
          aesthetic annoyance -- they are deadly.   Once pellets  
          enter the marine environment, birds, turtles and fish  
          commonly mistake them for food.  Often, these animals can't  
          digest the pellets nor pass them, and they eventually die  
          from starvation."

          The author's office contends that, "Responsible businesses  
          in the plastics industry has recognized the degree of the  
          problem and developed a series of best practices to prevent  
          the discharge of nurdles into the environment.  While some  
          manufacturers have implemented these practices voluntarily,  
          there are many bad actors out there who still carelessly  
          allow the release of these deadly plastic pellets into our  
          waterways, competing unfairly and profiting at the expense  
          of the oceans.

          "The author's office contends that this bill "will address  
          California's plastic run-off problem by borrowing from the  
          successful best practices that are already known and used  
          in the industry.  This bill will simply require all  
          manufacturers of plastic products to use basic common sense  
          housekeeping principles to control the discharge of  
          nurdles.  It evens the playing field of competition while  
          protecting the oceans from irreparable harm.



                                                                AB 258

          "The best practices required under AB 258 will include  
          common sense measures like installing screens in storm  
          drains to prevent pellet flow into storm water runoff,  
          keeping pellet containers covered and sealed at all points  
          of storage and transfer, and having vacuum systems in place  
          for pellet clean-up.

          "The State Water Board and Regional Water Quality Boards  
          will develop a program that will increase regulation and  
          monitoring of companies that handle and use pellets.  And,  
          should non-compliant bad actors continue to pollute,  
          penalties will be consistent with other violations of the  
          Clean Water Act. 

          "Scientists and policy makers have long recognized the need  
          to control pellet runoff.  Even the plastics industry  
          understands this to be a huge problem.  With AB 258,  
          California will be taking a crucial step toward saving the  
          ocean from plastic marine debris."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    According to the Stop Hidden  
          Taxes Coalition, "The Stopped Hidden Taxes Coalition is in  
          opposition to AB 258 (Krekorian), which would authorize the  
          State Water Quality Control Board to impose a Sinclair fee  
          (tax) for the cost of regulating the disposition of  
          pre-production plastics into a marine environment.   
          Pre-production plastics include plastic pellets, plastic  
          resin products, powdered coloring for plastics, plastic  
          additives, plastic materials and plastic fragments.

          According to the Coalition, "In the past five years, the  
          California Legislature and local governments have tried to  
          impose more than s$7 billion in new taxes while avoiding  
          constitutional approval requirements for tax increases.   
          The strategy is to disguise taxes as mere regulatory "fees"  
          in order to avoid the public debate and rigorous vote  
          requirement that voters have repeatedly demanded before  
          taxes are raised.

          "The threat of hidden taxes enacted by end-runs around the  
          State Constitution is becoming acute for businesses and  
          consumers in California.  New tax-like fees increase the  
          cost of doing business and threaten jobs that are already  



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          vulnerable because of high operating costs in the state.   
          For this reason, a coalition of business and consumers has  
          formed to raise public awareness and oppose efforts to  
          disguise taxes as fees."  
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Bass, Beall, Berg, Brownley, Caballero, Charles  
            Calderon, Carter, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon,  
            DeSaulnier, Dymally, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fuentes, Hancock,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Huffman, Jones, Karnette, Krekorian,  
            Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Lieu, Ma, Mendoza, Mullin,  
            Nava, Portantino, Price, Richardson, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Solorio, Swanson, Torrico, Wolk, Nunez
          NOES:  Adams, Aghazarian, Anderson, Arambula, Benoit,  
            Berryhill, Blakeslee, Cook, DeVore, Duvall, Emmerson,  
            Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Garcia, Garrick, Horton,  
            Houston, Huff, Jeffries, Keene, La Malfa, Maze,  
            Nakanishi, Niello, Parra, Plescia, Sharon Runner, Silva,  
            Smyth, Spitzer, Strickland, Tran, Villines, Walters
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Soto

          TSM:do  9/1/07   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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