ACA Testifies at Hearings on PaintCare® Bills in Maryland and Washington Senates
February 29, 2016 •
On Feb. 23, ACA staff testified before the Washington Senate Energy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee in support of HB 1572, “An Act Relating to Paint Stewardship.” Similarly, on Feb. 16, ACA staff provided testimony supporting another bill to create a paint stewardship program before the Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, SB 201. These bills, if enacted, would bring the PaintCare® program to Washington and Maryland.
Since 2008, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, and the District of Columbia (program operations slated to launch in September 2016) have enacted the ACA- and industry-conceived platform for the proper and effective management of post-consumer paint.
ACA and its industry are committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint, which is often the number one product, by volume and cost, coming into Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) programs. PaintCare has had resounding success in the eight states in which program operations have been implemented.
The program’s success has been so widespread that many state officials and local governments dealing with leftover paint are interested in bringing the program to their states. One of ACA’s goals is to make this legislation consistent across all states so that program implementation can truly be nationally coordinated and manufacturers and consumers of paint do not have differing programs across state lines.
ACA created PaintCare, a 501(c)(3) organization whose sole purpose is to ensure effective operation and efficient administration of paint product stewardship programs, on behalf of all architectural paint manufacturers in the United States. PaintCare undertakes the responsibility for ensuring an environmentally sound and cost-effective program by developing and implementing strategies to reduce the generation of post-consumer architectural paint; promoting the reuse of post-consumer architectural paint; and providing for the collection, transport, and processing of post-consumer architectural paint using the hierarchy of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and proper disposal.
The program is designed to relieve a considerable financial burden on local governments, which currently fund these programs.
The funding for the program collected via an assessment fee will cover the cost of all paint — not just new paint sold, but all the legacy paint already in consumers’ basements and garages.
The assessment will also go toward consumer education and outreach for the program, as well as administrative costs. ACA believes that consumer education is paramount with this type of program, since paint is a consumable product. ACA maintains that manufacturers do not produce paint to be thrown away — it is not inherently recyclable — but to be used up. In order to work toward a goal of post-consumer paint waste minimization, the consumer must be engaged. PaintCare’s educational program does not just focus on recycling and proper management of unwanted paint, but on buying the right amount of paint and taking advantage of reuse opportunities that can help reduce the generation of leftover paint in the first place.
To further ensure fairness and consumer protection, the bill specifies that the assessment funding the program must be approved by an independent audit submitted to the state Department of Environment and must be set at a rate to cover only the cost to manage and sustain the program.
In Washington, ACA worked with the state Department of Environment, as well as the state’s local waste authorities, HHW program managers, Pacific Northwest Product Stewardship Council, Washington Refuse & Recycling Association, Zero Waste and other stakeholders to refine the legislation.