California bills on Governor Newsom’s desk
California’s legislative session was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and several bills were put on hold earlier this year. But the NRDC, coalition partners and our allies in the state legislature still helped pass several important bills that support a sustainable economic recovery, help schools reopen safely, improve public health. and promote racial justice. Below are the key bills that the NRDC and our partners are urging Governor Newsom to sign before the September 30 deadline.
Prohibit PFAS chemicals in fire fighting foam: Man-made PFAS chemicals — which contaminate the drinking water systems that serve up to 19 million California residents — have been linked to immune system dysfunction, cancer, liver damage and developmental problems, even at very low exposures. Researchers have found that fire-fighting foam is one of the biggest sources of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Senator Allen’s SB 1044 would ban the sale and use of fire-fighting foam containing PFAS chemicals in California, mandating a switch to available and effective PFAS-free fire-fighting foam.
Healthy schools and clean transportation: Schools often have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that are unhealthy for students and teachers and consume excessive energy. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce water and energy bills, AB 841 by Assemblyman Ting, would create a program to repair and replace HVAC systems and plumbing fixtures while creating jobs high quality greens. In addition, this bill accelerates the infrastructure needed for zero-emission vehicles to fight air pollution and climate change.
Additional bills supported by the NRDC
Health and toxic
AB 995 (C. Garcia): In-depth reform of the Toxic Substances Control Department
AB 2762 (Muratsuchi): Bans the sale of cosmetics containing 12 toxic chemicals that have already been banned in cosmetics in European Union member countries and many other countries around the world.
SB 312 (Leyva): Requires disclosure of hazardous chemical fragrances or flavors in personal care or beauty products sold in California.
Climate and transport
SB 288 (Wiener): helps accelerate sustainable mobility projects, including improved pedestrian safety and cycle paths and facilities.
SB 1320 (Stern): Needs development of California climate change assessment
Nature, land and wildlife
AB 1426 (Boerner Horvath): Protect San Onofre State Park from a new highway
AB 3214 (Limón): Increase fines and penalties for oil companies that knowingly dump oil in state waters
Justice and emergency response
BA 2043 (R. Rivas, E. Garcia and Gonzalez): Protecting agricultural workers during the COVID-19 crisis
AB 2054 (Kamlager): enacts the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act, or CRISES Act
Reduction of plastics
AB 793 (Ting and Irwin): Increase recycled content requirements for plastic beverage containers up to 50% by 2030.
There is also a bill that the NRDC is asking Governor Newsom to veto. This bill, AB 3163 would distract from zero-emission energy sources and allow an expensive new source of methane to be created, sold and burned.
While we are disappointed that other priority bills including AB 345, AB 3030 and SB 54/AB 1080 have not been successful this year, we are already planning and strategizing how to advance the leadership of California on multiple fronts in 2021.
If you would like to send a message urging Governor Newsom to sign off on top environmental and health priorities, you can do so. here.