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Fwd: RE: [GreenYes] AB939 fines?

State Waste Board Fines Jurisdictions for Violating Waste Diversion Planning Law
SACRAMENTO—Reiterating the State's commitment to cutting California's trash in half by 2000, the Integrated Waste Management Board has assessed a total of $47,700 in fines against three local governments for failing to submit plans outlining how each intended to meet mandates of the State's 1989 waste diversion law. It was the first time the Board fined cities or counties for failing to comply with the Integrated Waste Management Act.
After separate public hearings on Thursday, the cities of Guadalupe and Santa Fe Springs and Mariposa County were ordered to pay fines ranging from $2,200 to $43,000.
"Since 1990, the Waste Board has taken the position that we want to work with cities and counties to achieve the State's waste diversion goals, and that is still our philosophy," said Board Chairman Daniel G. Pennington. "Unfortunately, while most California communities have developed and submitted plans on how they can keep 50 percent of their solid waste out of landfills by 2000-and, more importantly, are implementing programs to reach that goal-some jurisdictions have not complied.
"There is absolutely no reason why these jurisdictions should trail behind while the rest of the state continues to work hard implementing comprehensive recycling and waste reduction programs that have already helped California reach 30 percent waste diversion."
AB 939, the 1989 bill that established increased recycling as a top State priority, called for the state to divert 25 percent of its waste from landfills by 1995 and 50 percent by the year 2000. At the close of 1995, the state surpassed its first milestone, when the Board announced a statewide diversion rate of 26 percent. By 1996 that rate had increased to 30 percent. Jurisdictions that fail to achieve these goals are subject to possible enforcement action as well.
As part of its planning requirement, AB 939 requires all jurisdictions to submit waste plans-known as Source Reduction and Recycling Elements-that establish baseline figures and outline the new or existing programs the city or county will use to reach the diversion requirements. Examples include curbside recycling and backyard composting programs.
"Without these plans in hand there is no way for the State to determine if the jurisdiction is prepared for and heading in the right direction toward meeting the diversion goals," Pennington said. "We can't determine if they are in compliance and certainly cannot help them implement programs unless we know what their plan is to begin with."
After careful deliberation of each case, the Board took the following actions:
Fined Guadalupe $7,200 for failing to submit its plan by December 31, 1994, as required, but forgave $5,000 of that amount if the city's completed waste management plan is submitted within 31 days. If the plan is not submitted and complete by that deadline, the $5,000 will be reinstated, and the city will be fined an additional $617 for each day after the new deadline its plan is not complete. The Board forgave the $5,000 because of city staffing problems and because its only remaining step before submitting its plan is to finish a legally required public notice period.
Fined Santa Fe Springs $43,000 for failing to resubmit a plan that the Board had previously disapproved and sent back for revisions. If the city does not submit a complete waste management plan to the Waste Board by April 3, the fine will be increased by $3,683 for every day it is late. Santa Fe Springs' original document was submitted on October 11, 1994 and disapproved by the Waste Board in January 1995. The city has failed to meet subsequent deadlines since and has yet to file a complete waste management plan.
Fined Mariposa County $21,000, but forgave all but $2,500 for failing to submit its plan to the Waste Board in time. The Board forgave $18,500 because the County has provided a complete plan, but let the remainder of the fine stand because the plan was submitted late. The county was to have submitted the document to the Waste Board on December 31, 1994.
The Board also fined the tiny city of Point Arena $1,740, but heeded the city's plea for "mercy" and forgave all of it because the town has no permanent waste management staff, just a solid waste advisory team made up of volunteers. Other factors in the Board's decision were the town's small population and the fact that Point Arena has submitted a completed plan.
"This Board has generously agreed to reduce these fines from the maximum $10,000 per day allowed by law. I only hope that we can continue to work with these jurisdictions to implement their programs and help these communities realize the reduced waste disposal and increased landfill capacity being seen statewide," Pennington said.
The law allows the Board to levy fines as high as $10,000 per day from the time each jurisdictions' plan was due, but the Board exercised its discretion yesterday and levied fines ranging from $20 to $737 per day. The fines were assessed from December 1, 1997, when each jurisdiction was notified of yesterday's scheduled hearing. The hearings were only scheduled after a process beginning last spring in which some 60 communities were given tough deadlines to submit various required plans. The four communities on which hearings were held were the only ones that did not meet those deadlines.
Prior to the deliberations, Waste Board staff presented the six-member body with various options for assessing fines. The options outlined were $10,000 per day fines for serious infractions, $5,000 for moderate, and $1,000 for what were considered minor failures to meet requirements by some extent. The Board agreed on the $1,000 fine and then agreed to a further option to reduce the $1,000 per day fines based on each jurisdiction's total disposal, population, and taxable sales, compared with the rest of the state.
The Integrated Waste Management Board is responsible for protecting the public's health and safety and the environment through management of the 46 million tons of solid waste generated in California each year. The Board's mandate is to work in partnership with local government, industry, and the public to achieve a 50 percent reduction in waste disposed by the year 2000, while ensuring environmentally safe landfill disposal capacity.
The Waste Board is one of six boards and departments within the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA).

From: "Orrill, Deborah" <>
To: "'Gary Liss'" <>
Cc: "Peck, Chris" <>
Subject: RE: [GreenYes] AB939 fines?
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 17:22:28 -0800
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)

Check this out....

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-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Liss []
Subject: Fwd: [GreenYes] AB939 fines?
>Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2001 10:11:36 -0700
>From: Helen Spiegelman <>
>Subject: [GreenYes] AB939 fines?
>I seem to recall that California's law (AB939) included sanctions against
>municipalities failing to achieve the 50% diversion goal ($10K / day?).
>Were any municipalities charged under the law?
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Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485
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