BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2612
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          AB 2612 (Agriculture Committee)
          As Amended  June 16, 2010
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |74-0 |(May 6, 2010)   |SENATE: |34-0 |(August 9,     |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2010)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    AGRI.  

           SUMMARY  :  Deletes third party certifying for pesticide container  
          recycling; expands the rendering definition of a "collection  
          center;" changes the collection centers' licensure expiration  
          date; exempts registered collections centers from specified  
          fees; authorizes promulgation of regulations to streamline  
          organic registration; clarifies the administration of the State  
          Organic Program (SOP); authorizes the development of an online  
          SOP registration system; and, makes conforming changes.

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Eliminate the third-party certification for compliance for  
            plastic pesticide container recycling programs and change  
            responsibility for establishing a plastic pesticide container  
            recycling program from the first seller to the registrant of  
            any production agricultural use or structural-use pesticide  
            product sold in California.

          2)Extend the sunset date from January 1, 2011, to January 1,  
            2016, for the $100 food safety fee paid by persons engaged in  
            manufacturing, packing, or holding of processed food in  
            California used for industry food safety education and  

          3)Require a precise physical description of the facility or farm  
            location for exempt organic producers to be submitted to  
            county agriculture commissioners.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill expanded the definition of  
          a "collection center" for rendering, changed their licensure  
          expiration date to calendar year-end, and exempted collection  
          centers' registration if they are licensed; authorized  
          promulgation of regulations to streamline SOP registration;  


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          clarified the administration of SOP; authorized the development  
          of an online registration system; and, made technical  
          non-substantial changes. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Committee on  
          Appropriations, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible costs.

           COMMENTS  :  This is an Omnibus Committee bill which updates and  
          makes clarifications to the statutes dealing with the pesticide  
          container recycling, collection and handling of dead animals,  
          California Organic Program Act (COPA), and food safety  
          education.  These proposals have been submitted by the  
          respective industry and have no known opposition.

          In 2008, SB 1723 (Maldonado) was passed, intending to conform to  
          federal regulations that were moving forward to require a third  
          party certifier for pesticide containers, but in October 2008,  
          those federal regulations were dropped, therefore, we need to  
          remove the third party certifier from our codes, and make  
          conforming and technical corrections.

          The rendering program has been under review by the industry and  
          the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in  
          preparation for a comprehensive regulatory update.  During this  
          review, certain provisions of law were identified that needed  
          updating.  The definition of collection center, the fee section  
          and calendar year regulatory authority were three provisions  
          that needed clarifying language to modernize the program  

          In December 2008, SOP staff, the California Organic Program  
          Advisory Committee (COPAC), and participants from the organic  
          industry formed the Organic Products Technical Planning  
          Committee (TPC) to begin the process of reviewing and evaluating  
          SOP's policies and procedures.  One of the primary goals of TPC  
          was to streamline the organic registration process. Organic  
          registration is a complex and time consuming process that  
          duplicates much of the information collected by accredited  
          certifying agencies (ACA).  The complexity inherent within the  
          organic registration process has led to difficulties for  
          counties in maintaining consistency in the review of information  
          included on organic registration forms as well as for organic  
          operations in completing registration forms. Additionally, a  
          significant amount of time and resources are allocated by SOP to  
          review and correct applications prior to approval.  At the  


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          request of TPC, SOP evaluated the feasibility of streamlining  
          the organic registration process by promulgating regulations  
          which would have exempted certified organic registrants from  
          submitting information directly to SOP that is already submitted  
          to their respective ACAs.

          This proposal would allow CDFA to promulgate regulations to  
          streamline the organic registration process. This proposal would  
          also clarify inconsistencies within COPAC and the program in  
          order for CDFA to properly administer SOP.  Sellers of $5000 or  
          less of organic products do not need to be certified, but  
          agricultural commissioners still need to be able to identify  
          their location, so the requirement for these exempt producers or  
          handlers to provide mapping of their precise farm location is  
          included.  Finally, current statute does not provide a mechanism  
          to transition to an online based system for organic  
          registration.  While there are no immediate plans to implement  
          online based systems at this time, these changes would allow SOP  
          to transition to an online based system of registration when  
          appropriate.  These statutory changes are anticipated to save  
          several hundred hours in staff time, which will be reallocated  
          to compliance and enforcement activities. 

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Jim Collin / AGRI. / (916) 319-2084 

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