New Jersey PaintCare® Bill Passes Assembly, Pocket-Vetoed by Governor
January 19, 2016 •
On Jan. 11, ACA’s PaintCare® bill, AB 1603, passed the New Jersey Assembly by a 46-27 vote. The bill was pocket vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie on Jan. 19. A companion bill, SB 1420, “An Act Requiring Producers of Architectural Paint to Implement or Participate in a Paint Stewardship Program,” passed the New Jersey Senate on May 18 by a 26-7 vote.
Had it been enacted, the legislation would have brought ACA’s PaintCare® program to New Jersey. Since 2008, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, and the District of Columbia 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 seven 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 legislation would require PaintCare® to establish a paint collection site within 15 miles of 90 percent of the state’s residents. Permanent collection sites must set up for every 30,000 residents of a population center.
ACA believes that this would be critical in New Jersey, where only five of the 21 counties even accept latex paint for recycling and proper disposal — latex paint being 80% of the paint sold today. Those few counties that do accept latex paint do so at a great cost. For example, Ocean County reported spending over $200,000 on their paint management program in 2013 alone.
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 would 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 specified that the assessment funding the program must be approved by an independent audit submitted to the state Department of Environment/Environmental Services and must be set at a rate to cover only the cost to manage and sustain the program.
ACA worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the states’ local waste authorities, HHW program managers, and Product Stewardship Councils, and other stakeholders to refine the legislation.