Governor Enacts Legislation to Bring PaintCare Program to New York

On Dec. 16 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), signed into law legislation, S4351, mandating the establishment of a program for the effective management of post-consumer paint. In June, the New York legislature unanimously approved legislation that would create the ACA- and industry-conceived post-consumer paint platform: PaintCare. ACA’s paint stewardship program will reduce a costly burden on local governments that are currently responsible for collecting and disposing of most post-consumer, unused paint.

New York joins Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, Washington, and the District of Columbia, all of which have enacted legislation to implement PaintCare.

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.

“We look forward to building on our 10 years of experience in other states to launch a program in New York that not only works for the paint industry, but also meets public demand for convenience, efficiency, and cost effectiveness,” said Heidi McAuliffe, ACA vice president of Government Affairs. To support passage of the law, ACA worked with numerous environmental advocacy organizations and municipal agencies that supported the legislation.

Notably, PaintCare is required to submit a state program implementation plan by July 1, 2020; paint manufacturers that do not participate in the program will be barred from selling architectural paint in the state.

The Product Stewardship Institute  has estimated that approximately 3.1 million gallons of paint go unused each year in New York State — with the costs of collecting and managing the paint’s disposal mostly falling on local governments.

PaintCare is designed to relieve a considerable financial burden on local governments, which currently funds these programs. 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 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 nine jurisdictions 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.

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 program outreach, as well as administrative costs. ACA believes that consumer education is paramount with this type of program since paint is a consumable product.  To further ensure fairness and consumer protection, the law 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.

ACA maintains that manufacturers do not produce paint to be thrown away, but rather, to be used up. 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.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.

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