CASA Sponsors Three Bills in 2021
Last Friday, March 19, the CASA State Legislative Committee met and took positions on all bills of interest to the wastewater community that were introduced in the 2021 Legislative Session. During the meeting the committee also decided CASA should co-sponsor AB 622 (Friedman), making for a total of three CASA sponsored bills in this legislative session. These top priority bills promote innovative water management, source control, and pollution prevention. Consistent with our newly adopted strategic plan, our efforts to proactively engage on legislative issues that directly impact our industry are keeping us very busy this year! Below is an overview of the three bills CASA is co-sponsoring.
AB 818 (Bloom): Labeling of Non-Flushable Wipes
CASA’s “Non-flushable Wipes Bill,” AB 818 (Bloom), sponsored in partnership with the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) and the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) was introduced by Assembly Member Richard Bloom. It requires “Do Not Flush” symbols and phrases for non-flushable wet wipes products that are used for diapering and other household purposes. Flushed wipes not only cause dangerous and costly backups in sewer pipes, but also contribute to microplastics pollution. This bill is set to be heard in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on April 7 before it is heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. CASA is strongly supporting and engaging on this bill (see our support letter here). We are looking forward to making major progress with this important piece of legislation this year! If your agency would like to join on to our coalition letter on this bill please reach out to Alma Musvosvi as soon as possible!
SB 273 (Hertzberg): Wastewater authority to receive stormwater & runoff
SB 273 (Hertzberg) is co-sponsored by CASA and California Coast Keepers Alliance. This bill would authorize any wastewater treatment entity in California to undertake voluntary programs and projects to divert and treat industrial, commercial, and municipal stormwater and dry weather runoff. On March 11, it passed out Senate Governance and Finance Committee on consent. It has also been referred to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee where it is recommended for the consent calendar when it is heard on April 12. The water sector has been very supportive of the legislation and our coalition support letter outlines our position. Senator Hertzberg has also prepared this fact sheet on the bill and we have created a template support letter agencies can use to register support with the Committee.
AB 622 (Friedman): Microfiber Filters
AB 622 requires all new residential washing machines sold in California beyond 2024 to be equipped with 100-micron mesh filters to capture microplastic fibers shed during the wash cycle. The State Legislative Committee voted to co-sponsor this bill because of its emphasis on source control and microplastics pollution prevention. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on April 7th.
Click here for a list of all CASA bill positions.