The California legislature is in full swing and the Surfrider Foundation is closely tracking and advocating for our priority bills that affect our ocean and coastline. Here’s what Surfrider is advocating for this legislative session:
AB 1857 (C.Garcia): This bill would eliminate the diversion credit for municipal solid waste incinerators and redefine incineration as disposal. Burning trash is energy-intensive and creates harmful pollution, and is the opposite of reducing our waste or recycling. Rather, it creates a barrier to moving towards a zero-waste future.
There are two remaining municipal waste incinerators in California – the Southwest Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in Long Beach and Covanta Stanislaus in Stanislaus County. They are both over 30 years old with outdated technology that emits toxic air emissions and ash and is expensive to maintain. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by these facilities on top of already existing pollution issues community members face on a daily basis.
AB 1857 would close down the last two remaining waste incinerators and move our state towards creating more just and equitable zero-waste communities.
Status: Passed the Assembly Floor, moving to Senate
CA Plastic Pollution Reduction & Recycling Act: Although not taken up by the state legislature, in this general election, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make transformative change in our state to reduce plastic pollution through the CA Plastic Pollution Reduction & Recycling Act.
A vote for the initiative will reduce plastic pollution, restore and protect environments harmed by plastic pollution, and increase recycling. It also establishes a fee on producers of all single-use plastic packaging and single-use plastic foodware to fund environmental cleanups, habitat restoration, and recycling programs. We need comprehensive solutions like the ballot initiative that hold producers accountable for the plastic pollution crisis they’ve created.
AB 1832 (L Rivas) effectively bans seabed mining in California. As the seabed mining industry expands, we’re seeking to preserve our state’s seafloor and deep sea habitat, which is largely unexplored.
The purpose of the legislation is to proactively protect California’s deep sea and seabed as the extractive industry grows. The bill has received the unanimous support of more than 50 California NGO’s and businesses; including the Benioff Ocean Initiative, the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, and Patagonia; and has received media coverage from the SF Chronicle and KSBW. Surfrider is a sponsor of this bill and you can read more about our campaign here.
Status – Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 1
This bill will prioritize counties impacted by the 2021 Huntington Beach oil spill and can provide opportunities to address oil spill remediation and cleanup in addition to projects that emphasize natural infrastructure and coastal resilience. The Ocean Corps would advance California’s climate resiliency and ocean conservation goals by giving young people the opportunity to engage in structured and focused ocean conservation work, addressing climate resilience and workforce development goals in the state.
Status – Senate Floor
This bill establishes a fund for local governments to buy properties at risk of sea level rise and loan them out in the next one or two decades, giving local governments time and ability needed to preserve California’s coast and coastal access. Check out our campaign here and our podcast with Tina Andolina, Senior Policy Advisor at Senator Allen’s office here.
AB 2248 (Ward and Garcia) will make $100 million in California’s General Fund available for water quality projects related to rivers at the U.S-Mexico border, with $50 million specifically going towards projects in the Tijuana River.
Surfrider supports commitments to address the $300 million still needed to fund the Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive infrastructure solution to the water quality and environmental justice crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Read more on this bill here.
Status – California Senate Rules Committee
SB 1181 (Hueso) will limit the number of unsafe tires that California exports to Mexico. The bill strengthens the tracking system for tire flows from California into Mexico and prohibits the sale of unsafe tires across the border.
The U.S. should not be exporting our unsafe waste to Mexico, where it presents a hazard to drivers and where tires ultimately end up polluting and clogging hydrological channels. ~ 80,000 pounds of tires are removed by hand each year from the river, sediment basins, and the sensitive habitats of the area. More on the bill here.
Status – Passed the Senate Floor, moving to Assembly
Status – California Senate Rules Committee
We need your help!
Make a phone call or sign our action alerts urging your representative to pass these critical statewide bills. The next hurdle for these bills will be getting out of their respective houses of origin by May 27, 2022.