NWRA Sunbelt Region: Legislative Updates

NWRA Sunbelt Region: Legislative Updates

This NWRA State Update provides legislative updates for Alabama, Arizona, California, the Carolinas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington.


The Alabama chapter will be tracking the draft of the spending plan to be addressed by the legislature this week. Additionally, the Alabama Department of Environmental (ADEM) released a public notice regarding its next meeting. The meeting will be held on March 17 to consider proposed revisions and additions to Division 335-13 of the ADEM Administrative Code, which is Alabama’s solid waste program.


The Arizona chapter is currently in the process of planning its 2022 golf event to be located in Phoenix in April. More information on this event will be provided at a later date.


NWRA staff is following Senate Bill 54, sponsored by Sens. Ben Allen (D-26), Henry Stern (D-27) and Scott Wiener (D-11). This is a two-year bill that would establish the Plastic Pollution Producer Responsibility Act, which would prohibit producers of single-use, disposable packaging or single-use, disposable foodservice ware products from offering for sale, selling, distributing or importing in or into the state such packaging or products that are manufactured on or after January 1, 2032, unless they are recyclable or compostable. Existing law makes a legislative declaration that it is the policy goal of the state that, annually, not less than 75 percent of solid waste generated be source reduced, recycled or composted.


The Carolinas chapter will host its next meeting on March 8 in Columbia, S.C. During this meeting, the chapter will discuss legislative priorities and the annual golf tournament. The Carolinas chapter is planning on hosting the 24th Annual Chapter Golf Tournament on July 14. The Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference will be held in Hot Springs, Va., on October 4-5.

In North Carolina, Gov. Ray Cooper signed Executive Order No. 246 on January 7, detailing the next steps on a path to clean energy and an equitable economy for all North Carolinians. The order establishes new emissions reduction goals and directs the state to identify pathways to achieve carbon neutrality, prioritize environmental justice and develop clean energy transportation options.


The Rocky Mountain chapter is following the draft extended producer responsibility (EPR) bill that has not yet been introduced. The chapter is currently providing comments regarding amendments for this draft bill.


The Florida chapter recently held a legislative meeting on January 21. This past week, the chapter followed House Bill 1241, titled Local Government Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Services, and Senate Bill 1944, titled Local Governmental Actions Against Public or Private Waste Entities.

House Bill 1241, sponsored by Rep. Fred Hawkins (R-42), was filed on January 6. This bill provides conditions for local governments seeking liquidated damages, administrative fees and other charges against public or private solid waste management or recycling entities. As of January 12, this bill is in the Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.

Senate Bill 1944, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-12), was filed on January 10. This bill is titled Local Governmental Actions Against Public or Private Waste Entities and would prohibit counties and municipalities from seeking liquidated damages, administrative fees or other similar charges against certain waste entities during certain declared emergencies, providing for the administration of such damages, fees or other similar charges against certain waste entities during other times, etc. This bill was introduced in the Senate on January 18. 

Senate Bill 7012, titled Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Task Force, is a general bill introduced by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. This bill would create the task force within the Department of Environmental Protection, providing the membership, organization and duties of the task force; requiring the department to provide staffing to assist the task force in the performance of its duties; requiring the task force to convene by a specified date; requiring the task force to submit an annual report to the governor and the legislature by a specified date, etc. The bill’s effective date is July 1, and its house companion is House Bill 1151, sponsored by Rep. Tyler Sirois (R-51). This bill had its first reading on January 11 and is still in committee.

The Florida chapter is following numerous other bills. For a more detailed list, please contact Abby Blocker at ablocker@wasterecycling.org.


The Georgia chapter is following House Bill 893, sponsored by Reps. Randy Nix (R-69), Lynn Smith (R-70), Debbie Buckner (D-137) and Vance Smith (R-133). This bill would extend the hazardous waste management fees from July 2022 to July 2032. This bill had its second reading on January 14 and is in committee.

The Georgia chapter plans on hosting its annual golf tournament in April.


The Oklahoma chapter will hold its next legislative meeting on January 26 at 3:00 p.m. CT at Freddie Paul’s Steakhouse in Stillwater, Okla. The chapter will discuss the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s draft PFAS bill and other priority bills for the 2022 legislative session. 


The Texas chapter continues to follow state elections. The primaries for house and senate representatives occur in March, while statewide races will take place in November. The chapter is also following the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission and its review of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This review happens every 12 years.


In Utah, NWRA staff is following Senate Bill 97 sponsored by Sen. Ronald Winterton (R-26). This bill modifies provisions regarding commercial non-hazardous solid waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities. The bill amends definitions to provide that a facility that receives only waste from the exploration or production of oil and gas is not considered a commercial non-hazardous solid waste treatment, storage or disposal facility and makes technical and conforming changes. To date, this bill is waiting to be introduced in the Senate.


In Washington state, NWRA staff is following Senate Bill 5697 and Senate Bill 5658.

Senate Bill 5697 is sponsored by Sens. Mona Das (D-47), Christine Rolfes (D-23), Patty Kuderer (D-48), Liz Lovelett (D-40), John Lovick (D-44), Joe Nguyen (D-34), Jamie Pedersen (D-43), Rebecca Saldaña (D-37) and Derek Stanford (D-1). This bill deals with renewing Washington’s recycling system and reducing waste. The bill was filed on January 6, and it was part of a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on January 18. This bill is still in committee. Its companion bill is House Bill 2003, which had its first reading on January 17 and was referred to the Committee on Environment and Energy.

Senate Bill 5658 is sponsored by Sens. Derek Stanford (D-1), Mona Das (D-47), Sam Hunt (D-22), Ann Rivers (R-18), Rebecca Saldaña (D-37) and Claire Wilson (D-30). This bill is concerning the recyclability of products and packaging. It was filed on January 5, and it was part of a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on January 18. This bill is still in committee.