BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 901 (Gordon) - Solid waste: reporting requirements:  
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          |Version: July 16, 2015          |Policy Vote: E.Q. 6 - 1         |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Marie Liu           |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 

          Summary:  AB 901 would alter reporting requirements for disposal  
          facilities, recycling and composting facilities, and local  
          governments and would establish civil penalties for failing to  
          report or willfully filling false information. 

          Impact:  Annual costs of $168,000 for two years to the  
          Integrated Waste Management Account (special) for increased  
          enforcement by the Department of Resources Recycling and  
          Recovery (CalRecycle).

          Background:  The California Integrated Waste Management Act (PRC 40000 et  
          seq.) requires that each local jurisdiction divert at least 50%  
          of solid waste generated from landfill disposal through source  
          reduction, recycling, and composting. It is the state goal to  
          increase the diversion rate to 75% by 2020. Local governments,  


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          disposal facilities, and recycling and composting facilities are  
          required to report specified information to CalRecycle and to  
          each other. CalRecycle tracks the amount of waste disposed and  
          the jurisdictions in which waste was produced using its Disposal  
          Reporting System (DRS). CalRecycle is moving towards electronic  
          reporting through the electronic DRS (eDRS).
          According to CalRecycle's report, "State of Disposal in  
          California" (March 2015), a significant number of the reports  
          submitted by counties and facilities are late, incomplete, or  
          incorrect. Additionally, facilities also sometimes fail to  
          submit reports completely. The report notes that statutes and  
          the DRGS regulations lack enforcement provisions and there are  
          limited options for encouraging compliance. Reporting problems  
          hampers CalRecycle's efforts to oversee diversion mandates.

          CalRecycle has regulatory authority to adopt practices and  
          procedures related to waste tracking in the state, as long as  
          the regulations do not impose an unreasonable burden on waste  
          handling, processing, or disposal operations.

          Proposed Law:  
            This bill would make various changes to reporting requirements  
          regarding solid waste disposal and diversion. Specifically, this  
          bill would:
           Require disposal facility operators and recycling and  
            composting facilities to submit information on disposal  
            tonnages to CalRecycle instead of the counties. Counties would  
            continue to receive the information upon request directly from  
            disposal facility operators or through CalRecycle for  
            recycling and composting facilities.

           Delete the requirement for counties to submit periodic  
            disposal and diversion information to cities, regional  
            agencies, and CalRecycle.

           Require that all records related to solid waste disposal and  
            diversion be kept and be subject to inspection and copying by  


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           Authorize an employee of a government entity to inspect and  
            copy records at a disposal facility related to tonnage  
            received at the facility and originating within its geographic  
            jurisdiction, except as specified. 

           Regulations regarding the reporting requirements would be  
            obliged to include: (1) opportunity to comply prior to the  
            initiation of enforcement actions, and (2) factors to be  
            considered in determining penalty amounts.

           Impose civil penalties between $500 and $5,000 per violation  
            for refusing or failing to provide required information. This  
            bill would also impose civil penalties between $500 and  
            $10,000 per violation on any person who knowingly or willfully  
            files a false report or refuses to allow CalRecycle to perform  
            an inspection or an examination of records.

           Authorize CalRecycle to conduct audits, perform site  
            inspections, observe facility operations, and otherwise  
            investigate the recordkeeping and reporting of persons  
            subjected to the Integrated Waste Management Act.

           Establish the procedure for CalRecycle to issue an  
            administrative complaint about any person with civil liability  
            under the Integrated Waste Management Act. 

           Establish timeframes for orders settling civil liability.

          Comments:  CalRecycle anticipates that it will have increased  
          enforcement costs of approximately $168,000 annually for two  
          years as a result of this bill to improve compliance with new  
          and existing reporting requirement costs. CalRecycle anticipates  
          that these costs are temporary because once the affected parties  


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          become more familiar with the reporting requirements and the  
          associated penalties, the requirements will mostly be  
          While this bill does create penalties, CalRecycle is not  
          anticipating its enforcement costs to be offset by penalty  
          revenues because its goal is to increase compliance, not to  
          raise revenues. Staff notes that this goal is reflected in the  
          bill's requirement that CalRecycle offer an opportunity for a  
          regulated party to comply before beginning enforcement actions.

          No costs to develop regulations are associated with this bill  
          because CalRecycle was already intending to develop a regulation  
          package on reporting in which the changes in this bill can be  

          There are no costs associated with updating the eDRS as the  
          system was designed to anticipate mandatory reporting  

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