Sen. Alan Lowenthal Amends SB 568 To Let Food Vendors Dispense Prepared Food In Styrofoam If Complying With Bill's Req'ts Would Impose "An Undue Economic Hardship"; Measure Faces Pass-or-Die Vote In Coming Days
|(Aug. 27, 2012) -- LBReport.com has learned that state Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., Long Beach-Paramount) has added an amendment to SB 568 (re styrofoam) that would let a food vendor dispense prepared food to customers in a polystyrene foam food container if that food vendor demonstrates to the city's or county's satisfaction that compliance with the bill's requirements would impose "an undue economic hardship" (and defines this).
The bill would authorize a city or county to exempt the food vendor until January 1, 2017, or for a period of not more than one year from the date of the demonstration, and would let a food vendor reapply for additional one-year exemptions from the bill's requirements."
The amendment defines "undue economic hardship" as "a situation unique to a food vendor in which there are no reasonable alternatives to polystyrene foam food containers in use by that food vendor and compliance with Section 42392 would cause significant economic hardship to that food vendor."
The amending statutory text is as follows:
42394.5. (a) A food vendor may dispense prepared food to a customer in a polystyrene foam food container in a city or county if that food vendor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city or county that compliance with Section 42392 will impose an undue economic hardship. A city or county may exempt the food vendor pursuant to this subdivision from the requirements of Section 42392 until January 1, 2017, or not more than one year from the date of the demonstration, whichever date is later.
SB 568 could come to the Assembly floor on Tuesday or Wednesday. It would then have to return to the Senate (which it narrowly passed in June) for concurrence in amendments. To view the full bill text with the amended text, click here.
SB 568 aims to phase out polystyrene ("styrofoam") food containers that litter Long Beach and other CA coastal areas while allowing their continued use if an effective recycling program is in place locally, has been moved off the Assembly inactive file (where it was placed last August when it encountered furious opposition from various industry interests) and could receive a final up-or-down vote in the coming days.
Polystyrene items dot L.A. River litter in LB following Jan. 2008 storm. LBReport.com photo.
LBReport.com has been closely following this bill, with its local impacts, since its inception.
In June 2011, the Long Beach City Council went on record 8-0 -- with Councilman Gary DeLong absent -- to support the bill, which Sen. Lowenthal says will help mitigate the detrimental effects polystyrene foam on coastal communities, waterways, and marine life.
The Council vote came after the bill passed the state Senate in a close vote but with some bipartisan support...including "yes" votes from two Republican state Senators who represent coastal areas (Huntington Beach and San Luis Obispo).
On August 23, 2012, Councilman DeLong indicated to LBReport.com that [paraphrase] he considers the bill is
In late May 2011, Randy Gordon, President/CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, wrote a letter opposing the bill, echoing oppositon by the CA Chamber of Commerce, which gave SB 568 its worst designation: a "job killer." Sen. Lowenthal has argued that the opposite is true, citing new firms in California that manufacture alternatives to sytrofoam containers. He notes that his bill, whose effective date is 2016 (and 2017 for schools), includes a proviso allowing styrofoam containers if there's a recycling program in place with a reasonable likelihood that annually "at least 60 percent of the polystyrene foam food containers will be recycled."
Democrats hold a majority in the Assembly, but last year a number of Democrat Assemblymembers declined to support the bill. In response, Senator Lowenthal supported moving the measure to the "inactive" file...but the bill has now been returned active consideration by the Assembly...where the measure must pass or die by August 31.
Senator Lowenthal's office states in a legislative backgrounder that expanded polystyrene foam (commonly called styrofoam) "is lightweight and floats. When littered, it is blown out of landfills and open dumpsters, and off city streets to nearby waterways. Wind washes it off streets and through storm drains out to the ocean. In the environment, the containers break down into smaller and smaller pieces and are easily mistaken for food by fish, birds, and other wildlife.
[Sen. Lowenthal office text] Foam comprises 71% of the plastics migrating through the LA and San Gabriel Rivers in the LA Basin out to the ocean. A study of beach debris at 43 sites along the Orange County coast found that EPS was the second most abundant form of beach debris...
Sen. Lowenthal's office lists the following as supporters (also lists opposition below) including:
[support] Labor Organizations American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) California Federation of Teachers (CFT) California Teamsters Public Affairs Council United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Food Service Packaging Companies Bridgegate Alliance- World Centric- Primelink Solution- Excellent Packaging- IFN Green Packaging- Be Green Packaging Schulter & Company, Inc. Eco Products EcoLunchbox ToGo Ware Chambers of Commerce (Total businesses represented 3,356) Berkeley Chamber of Commerce (347 businesses) Carmel Chamber of Commerce (550 businesses) Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce (400 businesses) Fremont Chamber of Commerce (1000 businesses) Green Chamber of Commerce (151 businesses) Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce (908 businesses) Local Government (Total population represented 9,898,739) City of Arcata (population 17,248) City of Belmont (population 24,918) City of Calabasas (population 23,058) City of Capitola (population 9,781) City of Carpinteria (population 13,040) City of Culver City (population 38,883) City of Encinitas (population 59,518) City of Glendale (population 191,719) City of Long Beach (population 462,257) City of Los Angeles (population 3,792,621) City of Manhattan Beach (population 35,135) City of Millbrae (population 21,257) City of Monterey (population 27,810) City of Oakland (population 390,724) City of Palo Alto (population 61,200) City of Pasadena (population 137,122) City of Richmond (population 103,166) City of San Clemente (population 61,610) City of San Jose (population 971,372) City of Santa Cruz (population 59,946) City of Santa Monica (population 87,563) City of Sebastopol (population 7,379) City of Ventura (population 110,813) City of West Hollywood (population 34,399) City and County of San Francisco (population 815,358) County of Los Angeles (unincorporated population 1,000,000 +) County of Monterey (unincorporated population 158,561) County of Santa Clara (unincorporated population 900,000) County of Santa Cruz (unincorporated population 129,161) County of Sonoma (unincorporated population 146,238) Town of Fairfax (population 7,099) Restaurants/Food Service (Total Restaurants Represented - 118) 7-11 - Concord Alamo Gelato Italian Andersen Bakery- Concord Aunt Annies Pretzels- Concord AXE Restaurant Bagel Street Cafι - Martinez Baja Bettys Bamboo Asia Bangkok Noodles Bar Pink Baraka Diner - Concord Barrel Aged- Martinez Barista- Concord Baskin Robbins Concord Bay Leaf Cafι - Concord Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant Big Sur River Inn Restaurant Big Sur River Inn Store Big Sur Roadhouse Biryani Mania - Concord Bronze Buddha Thai Fusion - Concord Burger King- Concord Burger King- Martinez Cafι Blanco Cafι Metropol Cafι Moda- Concord Caffino- Concord Center for Tactical Magic Chan Chan Restaurant Chan Dara China Gourmet - Martinez China Wall- Concord Cinnabon- Concord Classic Organic Farm & Market Creek Monkey Taphouse- Martinez DaDa Restaurant Deetjens Inn Restaurant Egg Plantation Restaurant Estancia Beef Fernwood Resort and Redwood Grill Fresh MXN Food Gelato Vero Cafe Georges at the Cove (Restaurant) Global Gourmet Catering Godiva Chocolates- Concord Gossip Grill Grass Rootz Cafι Great Kahns- Concord Hunan Restaurant - Concord Ikes Quarter Cafι Jack in the Box - Concord Jacques Couture Jakes Del Mar Jamba Juice - Concord Johnny Rockets- Concord Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants KD Foods Kentucky Fried Chicken - Concord Kiku Sushi Las Pena Cultural Center Leftys Chicago Pizza Lestats on the Park Little Caesars - Clayton Little Caesars - Concord Little Hunan- Martinez McConnells Fine Ice Creams, Inc. McDonalds (Sun Valley) Concord McDonalds - Martinez Mediterranean Gourmet Pizza Mediterranean- Concord Mimis Cafι - Concord Modo Cafe Morgans Mortain Mikles Pizza- Martinez Mrs. Fields Cookies- Concord Naan NCurry Concord Naan NCurry San Francisco Ocean Beach Peoples Organic Market Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Coop Onyx Organics Orange Julius/ Dairy Queen- Concord Pacifica Pizza- Martinez Papa Murphys - Clayton Parkhouse Eatery Passion Berry- Martinez Passion Fish (Cafι) Phils Sliders Power Source Cafι Rachos Cocina Rawvolution Cafι Revive Drinks Rosie Lees British Foods Sbarro- Concord Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn (Restaurant) Strictly To Go Pizzeria- Concord Stone Brewing Co. Stone World Bistro Sweet Bakery - Clayton Sweet Tart- Concord Subway- Concord Subway- Martinez Taqueria Los Gallos - Concord ToGos- Martinez Toms- Concord The Tap Room The Linkery Thera Nova, LLC Treats Cafι - Concord Turkish Kitchen Tutti Fruiti- Concord Twiggs Urban Mos Veggie Today - Concord Vesta Flatbread Vinnies Bar N Grill Wendys- Martinez Wetzels Pretzels- Concord Yoppi Yogurt Yogurt Shack - Concord Businesses and Business/Green Economy Groups (Total businesses/groups represented 213) 4LEAF, Inc. Absolute Wireless Incorporated Acro Sports Accu-Logistics LLC ADEH Environmental All Stages Marketing Allen Associates Alvista America Inc. Amfect LLC Andrew Coffing Aquarium of the Pacific A.V. Arias & Co. BACA Barbara Epstein Barkley & Associates BARS+TONE Bay Central Printing Beyond Basics Construction Be Green Packaging, LLC Bear Vault Inc. Big Hearted Films Big Sur Lodge Biosphere Industries Boku International, LLC Bowman Design Group Bring it Brown Custom Woodworking Bruner Interiors Busby Biological Services California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative CBio, Inc. Cerebrotech Medical Systems Chiara CMC Complete Real Estate Concentric Communication Conservation Value, Inc Cyber-Infrastructure Daniel Hofmann Productions David Clarke Design David J. Romano Davis Jeffries, Architect Diane L Edge DDS DSE Eadoc LLC Eco Greenwares EcoLayers, Inc. Earth Cup Eduardo Hueso Eileen Siedman Elemental LED Emma Stark ENLUMA Expansive Health Awareness, Inc. Eyeball Photography Fair Ridge Group Fawn River Femto Science FeNa - for everything N anything, LLC Fernwood Resort Frances Kalfus, O.M.D., L.A.C Full Scale Event Productions Garden Sanctuaries Gemini Benefits Partner George Iny Enterprises Inc. Geyer Lamb Gold Ring Power, LLC Gi Paoletti Design Lab Good Grace's Productions LLC Greenleaf Project Management Grant Foerster Fine Pruning & Plant Care Green Fuse Energy Green Station GWC Habitat Engineering & Forensics Hale House Harmony healing Harmony Organic Gardens House Earth Howerton Construction, Inc. Hugh Salamon Hunter-Gatherer Artifacts Imageworks Imani Lee, Inc. Infinite Functions, Inc. Inn of the Seventh Ray Inner Gardens Institute for Local Self-Reliance Instant Imprints Integrated Resource Management, Inc. John Kelley, AIA Architect Judy Schriebman Just Transition Alliance Kahl Consultants Kleine Editorial Services Kuuki Biotechnology LLC LA ProPoint, Inc. Lamebrane Records Lam Bentz Vineyard, LLC Larry Chinn Laughing Star Designs LB Designs Leane Eberhart Learning Fundamentals Left Coast Instruments, Inc. Leikam Enterprises, LLC Life Settlement Financial Linden Appraisal Services Lindon Schultz Architect/Engineer Lindsey Vaillancourt Little Footprint Lighting LMA Lotus Crafts Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) Louis h. Felthouse Architect Inc. Lundco electric M. E. Sawyer Company Machado Fitness & Self Defense Training Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects MARI-FLITE Ferries, Inc. Marianna Mejia Marstel-Day, LLC Mary's Green and Clean Handcrafted Soaps McVay & Co. Builders MD Resource Corporation Metabo Scientia Mineta San Jose International Airport (Airport Environmental) Mohave Power Co. Inc Mondo Life, Inc. Moving Picture Weddings Music Interactive Native Designs Natural Cleaning Products USA Oakhurst Technology Ocean Conservation Society Ocean Innovations Octy, Inc Pacific Builders Pacific Ink, Inc. Pacific Latex Products / Malgam Ent. Inc Parallel Interactive Communications Party Lite candles / Candlescaping by Paula Patricia Owen Peoples Organization for Reform & Empowerment Philip Auerbach Pinnacle Installations, Inc. Polyglot Ltd. Pool Dan Precision Powder Coatings Premium Roofing & Waterproofing Prima Collections Pundir Group, Inc Quality Piano Tuning Redpoint Engineering Renewable Energy Consultant Richards & Sterling Ripplewood Resort Robert Cronin Rosales Business Partners LLC RV-ID, Inc. Santa Cruz Fire Equipment Company Save The Whales SCOPE*TEK Scott Johnson Consulting Seat Advisor Sfnewsfeed.us Shaktiart Shen Wei (USA) Inc. Sherpali Sierra Solar Systems Sierra Wealth Advisors Silent Tribunal LLC Slatter Construction, Inc. Solar Wind Works Solectric Electric Sound Service Company Spottswoode Winery, Inc. Starlight Productions Starlight School State Farm-Julie Cook, agent Stein Neurology Steve Nice Consulting Sue White Suisun Creek Vineyards Susanne Moser Research & Consulting Sustainable Earth Initiative SWERVE TaterWare The Valley Womens Club Tegrus Builders Inc. The Added Edge, Inc. The MacPete Law Firm The Rosebud Agency The Soul Mine The Tucker Schoeman Venture (architects) Thrive Eco Solutions Inc Tierra Sol y Mar, Inc. Tim Brophy Construction Tim Devine Musical Services Timesmithing Tom Sawyer Software Treehouse Design Partnership TSA Contracting, Inc. UCSD United States Green Building Council (California Advocacy Committee) V8 Media Vicki L. Cyr, C.P.A. Victoria M. Armigo, EA Vigitron VIVA Transcription Corporation Viv Biz Club Waterways Consulting White Wolf Journeys William Mariner, D.C. Work It Out, Inc. Write to the Heart World Centric Zone One Pharmacy Neighborhood Councils and Associations (Total population represented 725,550) Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (represents 25,355 people) Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (represents 37, 236 people) Mar Vista Community Council (represents 55,000 people) North Hills East Neighborhood Council (represents 29,250 people) North Hollywood North East Neighborhood Council (represents people 12,000 people) Palms Neighborhood Council Reseda Neighborhood Council (represents 66,575 people) San Fernando Valley Young Democrats Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (represents 34,675 people) South Robertson Neighborhood Council (represents 45,000 people) Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council (represents 81,788 people) Tarzana Neighborhood Council (represents 37,778 people) United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (represents 70,472 people) Van Nuys Neighborhood Council (represents 110,747 people) Venice Neighborhood Council (represents 40,885 people ) West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (represents 30,873 people) Westwood Neighborhood Council (represents 47,916 people) Sanitation Districts, Refuse Workers, Recyclers and Composters California Resource Recovery Association East Bay Municipal Utility District Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority Los Angeles County Solid Waste Management Committee/ Integrated Waste Management Task Force Marin County Hazardous and Solid Waste Mgm't Joint Powers Authority Marin Sanitary Service Monterey Regional Waste Management District Napa Recycling and Waste Services Recology Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority Santa Clara Valley Water District Solid Waste Association of North America, California Chapters (SWANA) Sonoma County Waste Management Agency StopWaste.Org (Alameda County Waste Management Authority) Waste Connections Inc. Environmental Justice/ Health and Worker Safety Black Women for Wellness Breast Cancer Fund California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation Environmental Justice Coalition for Water Great Beginnings for Black Babies, Inc. Just Transition Alliance Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment Pacoima Beautiful Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles Worksafe, Inc Environmental and Ocean Conservation Groups Ballona Creek Renaissance Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON) Board of the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority California Coastkeeper Alliance California Coastal Coalition California Coastal Commission California League of Conservation Voters Californians Against Waste Defenders of Wildlife Earth Resource Foundation Ecology Action Endangered Habitats League Environment California Environmental Working Group Heal the Bay Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust Malibu Surfing Association Natural Resources Defense Council ONeill Sea Odyssey Planning and Conservation League San Diego Coastkeeper Save the Bay Save Our Shores Sea Turtle Restoration Project Seventh Generation Advisors Sierra Club California Sustainable Earth Initiative Teens Turning Green The Plastic Pollution Coalition The Watershed Project Trashbusters USA Schools and School Workers Cabrillo College California School Nutrition Association Sacramento Unified School District, Superintendent Hundreds of Individual Petition Signers OPPOSITION American Chemistry Council California Chamber of Commerce California Film Extruders and Converters Association California Grocers Association California Manufacturers & Technology Association California Restaurant Association City of Lodi Dart Container Corporation Food Service Packaging Institute Industrial Environmental Association Irvine Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles County Business Federation National Federation of Independent Business Oxnard Chamber of Commerce Pactiv Corporation Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce Society of the Plastics Industry The Dardanelle Group Valley Industry and Commerce Association
To view the full bill text as most recently amended July 12), click here.
A legislative analysis last year listed the following opposition:
To view a June 2011 Assembly Committee legislative analysis, click here.
In June, SB 568 passed the state Senate in a close vote but with bipartisan support...including support from two Republican state Senators who represent coastal areas impacted by styrofoam: Sen. Tom Harman (R, Huntington Beach) and Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R., San Luis Opispo).
After the state Senate passed Sen. Lowenthal's bill, the Long Beach City Council went on record 8-0 (with Councilman Gary DeLong absent) to support it.
In May, the President/CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter opposing the bill, echoing oppositon by the CA Chamber of Commerce, whose members are from inland as well as coastal areas, which gave Sen. Lowenthal's bill its worst designation: a "job killer."
Sen. Lowenthal has said the opposite is true, and cited new firms in California that manufacture alternatives to sytrofoam containers. He also notes that his bill, whose effective date is 2016, includes a proviso allowing styrofoam containers if there's a recycling program in place with a reasonable likelihood that annually "at least 60 percent of the polystyrene foam food containers will be recycled."
SB 568 faces a legislative deadline for Assembly passage (and Senate concurrence in amendments, if any) by August 31.
To view the full bill text click here.
Additional supporters/opponents (listed in June Assembly Committee legislative anlaysis) below:
Support California Coastkeeper Alliance California League of Conservation Voters Californians Against Waste City of Belmont City of Encinitas City of Long Beach City of Manhattan Beach City of Milbrea City of Palo Alto City of Pasadena City and County of San Francisco City of Santa Monica City of Sonoma Environment California Environmental Defense Fund GreenTown Los Altos Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Mar Vista Community Council Natural Resources Defense Council Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Sierra Club California Solid Waste Association of North America South Robertson Neighborhood Council West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Opposition Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers America Chemistry Council Black Business and Professional Association Brawley Chamber of Commerce California Chamber of Commerce California Film Extruders & Converters Association California Forestry Association California Manufacturers & Technology Association California Restaurant Association Chambers Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties Dart Container Corporation El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce Foodservice Packaging Institute Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Greater Corona Valley Chamber of Commerce Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce Industrial Environmental Association Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce Murrieta Chamber of Commerce National Federation of Independent Business Natural Environmental Protection Company Pactiv Corporation Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce Regional Black Chamber, San Fernando Valley Seawright Custom Precast, Inc. Society of the Plastics Industry South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce Southwest California Legislative Council Stockton Chamber of Commerce Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce The Dardanelle Group Valley Industry and Commerce Association Wildomar Chamber of Commerce 72 Individuals
To view the Assembly floor legislative analysis, click here.
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