New York PaintCare Bill Passed by State Senate
On June 5, New York State unanimously approved legislation that would establish the PaintCare program in that state, if enacted. The Senate bill, S4351, sponsored by Sen. Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), would mandate the industry-sponsored paint stewardship program and reduce a costly burden on local governments that are currently responsible for collecting and disposing of most post-consumer, unused paint.
In New York, the legislation has received strong support on the Senate side over the past four years; but a companion bill in the Assembly, A. 6373, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-4th District) has not fared as well. That bill is currently awaiting action by the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, and on June 6 was referred to the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee.
Since 2008, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, have implemented the ACA- and industry-conceived platform for the proper and effective management of post-consumer paint. Just last month, Washington state enacted legislation that will bring the PaintCare program to the state in 2020.
O’Mara, a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, has said that the legislation would create local jobs, provide relief to local property taxpayers, and encourage environmentally sound recycling and disposal of unused paint in New York State. He pointed to the initiative as an example of how government and industry can work together to implement effective environmental policies and programs.
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.
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. To date, the program has collected some 35 million gallons of paint.
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 funding for the program collected via an assessment fee will cover the cost of all paint — not just new pint 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, 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.
ACA has worked with environmental advocacy organizations and municipal agencies that support the legislation.
Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.