Two long sought after bills are nearing the finish line in the legislature before heading to the Governor’s desk. These policies could be huge victories for both public health and the environment, but both face intense lobbying from the American Chemistry Council.
Senate Bill 797 (Pavley) bans from children’s products the toxic chemical BPA (bisphenol A), which is suspected of wrecking havoc with hormone levels and causing a host of problems including impaired brain development, breast and prostate cancers and early puberty.
This common sense policy was stopped twice before in the Assembly by intense lobbying from the chemical industry, but finally passed in July. Now the chemical lobby has ramped up efforts in the Senate to prevent the bill from making it over this final legislative hurdle.
Assembly Bill 1998 (Brownley) would eliminate single use plastic bags in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and numerous other commercial businesses. Following in the steps of environmentally conscious Germany, China, Uganda, Mexico City, San Francisco and about a dozen others, this ground-breaking bill would become a shining example of positive measures taken avoid plastic pollution.
Californians use 19 billion plastic bags every year, with most ending up in landfills or polluting our oceans. The American Chemistry Council also opposes this measure even though retailers and grocers are supportive. They have mounted an expensive campaign full of deceptive advertising and political contributions trying to stop this important and overdue bill.
Both measures must get off the Senate floor by Tuesday, August 31st. If passed, the governor has until September 30th to sign or veto both of these measures. To support these important bills, call your Senate today.
Traci Sheehan is the Executive Director of The Planning and Conservation League, a statewide, nonprofit lobbying organization.