AB 371 (Salas) is a newly amended bill in the California Legislature that would, if enacted, allow Kern County to create an ordinance prohibiting the land application of sewage sludge. The Bill is moving quickly and within weeks could be voted on by the entire Assembly. CWEA and its partners have been extensively involved in this issue for decades. The ban violates federal and state law, and is in conflict with the Integrated Waste Management Act and regional welfare doctrine.
The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows the land application of biosolids is a safe – and beneficial – practice. Kern County can’t make recycling illegal and increase waste management costs for rate payers. Read CWEA’s letter of opposition to this misguided bill.
Urgent action needed – Make your voice heard by contacting your elected Assembly Members! The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) has provided a template letter to get you started. Your contribution is needed as soon as possible – this misguided bill could be heard on the Assembly Floor as soon as May 16.
To find your representative click here www.findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
According to CASA’s Greg Kester:
Please heed this request to send a letter to all of your Assembly Members opposing AB 371 (Salas), which passed out of the Local Government Committee on May 8th and will be heard on the Assembly Floor as early as next Thursday or the following week, but certainly prior to the May 31st deadline for bills to be passed from their house of origin. This bill would allow Kern County Board of Supervisors to prohibit the land application of biosolids, including compost, in the unincorporated areas of the County.
If the County is allowed to adopt and enforce a land application ban by way of this bill, California cities and agencies will face difficulty finding sustainable methods to recycle or manage their biosolids, forcing agencies to find and implement more expensive alternative options – a cost that will undoubtedly be passed to ratepayers. Not only does the bill circumvent a long standing legal dispute concerning Kern County Measure E, which attempts the same ban, if passed, it could set precedent to authorize all local jurisdictions to make a similar enactment, thus preventing California as a whole from recycling its biosolids. Not only would it increase the quantity of biosolids sent to landfills in conflict with the state goal of recycling 75% of solid waste by 2020, it would violate sound science and a truly beneficial recycling practice with no reasoned justification.
If you need further help, please contact Greg Kester, CASA Biosolids Program Manager at (916) 844-5262 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.