Amended in Assembly April 20, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 901


Introduced by Assembly Member Gordon

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(Coauthor: Assembly Member Williams)

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February 26, 2015


An act to amend Section 41821.5 of, to amend and renumber Section 41821.6 of, and to add Sections 41821.6, 41821.7, and 41821.8 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to solid waste.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 901, as amended, Gordon. Solid waste: reporting requirements: enforcement.

The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, generally regulates the disposal, management, and recycling of solid waste. Existing law requires disposal facility operators to submit information to counties from periodic tracking surveys on the disposal tonnages that are disposed of at the disposal facility by jurisdiction or region of origin. Existing law requires solid waste handlers and transfer station operators to provide information to the disposal facility on the origin of the solid waste they deliver to the disposal facility. Existing law requires recycling and composting facilities to submit periodic information to counties on the types and quantities of materials that are disposed of, sold to end users, or sold to exporters or transporters for sale outside of the state, by county of origin. Existing law requires counties to submit periodic reports to the cities within the county, to any regional agency of which the county is a member, and to the Department ofbegin delete Resources,end deletebegin insert Resourcesend insert Recycling and Recovery on the amounts of solid waste disposed of by jurisdiction or region of origin, and on the categories and amounts of solid waste diverted to recycling and composting facilities within the county or region. Existing law authorizes the department to adopt regulations in this regard.

This bill would revise these provisions by, among other things, requiring recycling and composting operations and facilities to submit specified information directly to the department, rather than to counties, and would delete the requirement for counties to submit that information to cities, regional agencies, and the department. The bill would delete references to periodic tracking surveys. The bill would make other related changes to the various reporting requirements. The bill would provide for imposition of civil penalties on any person who refuses or fails to submit information required by the governing regulations, and on any person who knowingly or willfully files a false report, refuses to permit the department to inspect or examine associated records, or alters, cancels, or obliterates entries in the records, as specified. The bill would provide that the civil penalties may be imposed either in a civil action or administratively pursuant tobegin delete processend deletebegin insert proceduresend insert specified in the bill. The bill would provide for local agencies, on request, to be designated by the department to exercise the enforcement authority. The bill would require recovered civil penalties to be deposited in the Integrated Waste Management Account if recovered by action of the department, or to be retained by the local agency taking the enforcement action, as applicable. The bill would require moneys retained by a local agency pursuant to these provisions to be expended on specified solid waste activities.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 41821.5 of the Public Resources Code
2 is amended to read:

3

41821.5.  

(a) Disposal facility operators shall submit to counties
4information on the disposal tonnages by jurisdiction or region of
5origin that are disposed of at each disposal facility. To enable
6disposal facility operators to provide that information, solid waste
7handlers and transfer station operators shall provide information
8to disposal facility operators on the origin of the solid waste that
9they deliver to the disposal facility.

P3    1(b) Recycling and composting operations and facilities shall
2submit periodic information to the department on the types and
3quantities of materials that are disposed of, sold or transferred to
4other recycling or composting facilities, sold to end users inside
5of the state or outside of the state, or that are sold to exporters,
6brokers, or transporters for sale outside of the state. The department
7may provide this information to jurisdictions upon request.

8(c) Each county shall submit reports to the cities within the
9county, to any regional agency of which it is a member agency,
10and to the department, on the amounts of solid waste disposed by
11jurisdiction or region of origin, as specified in subdivision (a).

12(d) The department may adopt regulations pursuant to this
13section requiring practices and procedures that are reasonable and
14necessary to implement this section, and that provide a
15representative accounting of solid wastes and recyclable materials
16that are handled, processed, or disposed. Those regulations
17approved by the department shall not impose an unreasonable
18burden on waste and recycling handling, processing, or disposal
19operations or otherwise interfere with the safe handling, processing,
20and disposal of solid waste and recyclables.

21(e) Any person who refuses or fails to submit information
22required by regulations adopted pursuant to this section is liable
23for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and
24not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation of
25a separate provision or, for continuing violations, for each day that
26the violation continues.

27(f) Any person who knowingly or willfully files a false report,
28or any person who refuses to permit the department or any of its
29representatives to make inspection or examination of records, or
30who fails to keep any records for the inspection of the department,
31or who alters, cancels, or obliterates entries in the records for the
32purpose of falsifying the records as required by regulations adopted
33pursuant to this section, is liable for a civil penalty of not less than
34five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than ten thousand dollars
35($10,000) for each violation of a separate provision or, for
36continuing violations, for each day that the violation continues.

37(g) Liability under this section may be imposed in a civil action,
38or liability may be imposed administratively pursuant to this article.

39(h) Upon request of a city, county, or city and county, that city,
40county, or city and county may be designated, in writing, by the
P4    1department, to exercise the enforcement authority granted to the
2department under this article. Any city, county, or city and county
3so designated shall follow the same procedures set forth for the
4department under this article. This designation shall not limit the
5authority of the department to take action it deems necessary or
6proper to ensure enforcement of this article.

7(i) Notwithstanding Title 5 (commencing with Section 3426)
8of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Civil Code and Article 11
9(commencing with Section 1060) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of
10the Evidence Code, all records required to be kept pursuant to this
11section and implementing regulations shall be subject to inspection
12and copying by the department or by a governmental entity
13designated by the department.

14(j) Notwithstanding the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
15(Title 2.5 (commencing with Section 1633.1) of Part 2 of Division
163 of the Civil Code), reports required by this section shall be
17submitted electronically, using an electronic reporting format
18system established by the department.

19

SEC. 2.  

Section 41821.6 of the Public Resources Code is
20amended and renumbered to read:

21

41821.9.  

To assist market development efforts by thebegin delete board,end delete
22begin insert department,end insert local agencies, and the private sector, thebegin delete boardend delete
23begin insert departmentend insert shall use existing data resources.

24

SEC. 3.  

Section 41821.6 is added to the Public Resources Code,
25to read:

26

41821.6.  

In order to ensure that records required pursuant to
27this article are properly maintained, in addition to inspecting
28records, the department or its designee may conduct audits, perform
29site inspections, observe facility operations, and otherwise
30investigate the recordkeeping and reporting of persons subject to
31the requirements of this article.

32

SEC. 4.  

Section 41821.7 is added to the Public Resources Code,
33to read:

34

41821.7.  

(a) The department may issue an administrative
35complaint to any person on whom civil liability may be imposed
36pursuant to this article. The complaint shall allege the acts or
37failures to act that constitute the basis for liability and the amount
38of the proposed civil liability. The complaint shall be served by
39personal service or certified mail and shall inform the party so
P5    1served that a hearing shall be conducted within 60 days after the
2party has been served, unless the party waives the right to a hearing.

3(b) If the party waives the right to a hearing, the department
4shall issue an order setting liability in the amount proposed in the
5complaint unless the department and the party have entered into
6a settlement agreement, in which case the department shall issue
7an order setting liability in the amount specified in the settlement
8agreement. If the party has waived the right to a hearing or if the
9department and the party have entered into a settlement agreement,
10the order shall not be subject to review by any court or agency.

11(c) Any hearing required under this section shall be conducted
12by an independent hearing officer according to the procedures
13specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part
141 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, except as
15otherwise specified in this section.

16

SEC. 5.  

Section 41821.8 is added to the Public Resources Code,
17to read:

18

41821.8.  

(a) Orders setting civil liability issued under this
19section shall become effective and final upon issuance thereof,
20and payment shall be made within 30 days of issuance. Copies of
21these orders shall be served by personal service or by certified
22mail upon the party served with the complaint and upon other
23persons who appeared at the hearing and requested a copy.

24(b) Within 30 days after service of a copy of a decision, any
25person so served may file with the superior court a petition for
26writ of mandate for review of the decision. Any person who fails
27to file the petition within the 30-day period may not challenge the
28reasonableness or validity of a decision or order of the hearing
29officer in any judicial proceedings brought to enforce the decision
30or order or for other remedies.

31(c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, Section 1094.5
32of the Code of Civil Procedure governs any proceedings conducted
33pursuant to this subdivision. In all proceedings pursuant to this
34subdivision, the court shall uphold the decision, if the decision is
35based upon substantial evidence in the whole record.

36(d) This section does not prohibit the court from granting any
37appropriate relief within its jurisdiction.

38(e) All penalties collected under this article shall be deposited
39in the Integrated Waste Management Account created pursuant to
40Section 48001 if the attorney who brought the action represented
P6    1the department, or shall be retained by a city, county, or city and
2county designated pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 41821.5,
3if the attorney who brought the action represents the city, county,
4or city and county. The moneys retained by the city, county, or
5city and county shall be expended on duties required under this
6article and implementing regulations.



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