BILL NUMBER: AB 21 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal DECEMBER 1, 2008 An act to add Section 14083 to the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to economic poisons. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 21, as introduced, Bonnie Lowenthal. Economic poisons: methyl bromide. Existing law requires the Director of Pesticide Regulation to adopt regulations that govern the use of methyl bromide and chloropicrin as field fumigants, and authorizes the director to prescribe the time when, and the conditions under which, methyl bromide and chloropicrin may be used in different areas of the state. This bill would require the use of methyl bromide in this state to clean or fumigate a container used to transport goods to or from the state to be restricted to a manner and method of application that precludes exposure to any residential dwelling, school, day care facility, park, play area, or healthcare facility. The bill would require the Department of Pesticide Regulation to ensure certain matters regarding this use of methyl bromide. The bill would also require the department to levy a fee on those who use methyl bromide to clean or fumigate containers in order to cover the costs of administering and enforcing these provisions. A violation of the provisions of this bill would be a misdemeanor. Because this bill would create new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Trade activity through California's seaports is crucial to the overall health of the state's economy. (b) The economic benefits of ports to state, national, and global economies are as follows: (1) About 13.3 million Americans were employed in jobs created by commercial port activities, and average wages for these jobs were forty-nine thousand dollars ($49,000) a year, twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) more than the average United States wage. (2) Exporter/importer businesses and support industries that rely on seaports contributed $3.15 trillion to the United States economy in 2007 and paid nearly $212.5 billion in taxes that same year. (3) Seaport activities in 2007 accounted for $31.21 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues. (4) Customs revenue through seaports was $23.2 billion in 2007. (5) Deep-draft ports, which accommodate oceangoing vessels, account for 99 percent of United States overseas trade by weight and 64 percent by value, international trade represents 29.7 percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product, and the United States is the largest trading nation in the world, accounting for 19 percent of world goods trade. (6) With regards to California, California's ports handle one-fifth of all United States international trade, and Los Angeles and Long Beach rank first and second in dollar value of goods processed. (c) There are cases in which meeting the requirements of our trading partners requires the use of methyl bromide in cleaning or fumigating the containers used for shipments at the ports. (d) Methyl bromide is an odorless and colorless gas that has been used as a soil fumigant and structural fumigant to control pests across a wide range of agricultural sectors. Methyl bromide depletes the stratospheric ozone layer and has been largely phased out with some exceptions for critical use where no substitute is available and for quarantine and preshipment fumigation functions. (e) Because methyl bromide poses a threat to humans, animals, and the environment, it is in the interest of the state that its use be conducted under careful and appropriate regulation. (f) Workers who perform necessary fumigation with methyl bromide are engaged in a dangerous activity and would benefit from the most stringent health safeguards possible. SEC. 2. Section 14083 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read: 14083. (a) The use of methyl bromide in this state to clean or fumigate a container used to transport goods to or from the state shall, pursuant to subdivision (b), be restricted to a manner and method of application that precludes exposure to any residential dwelling, school, day care facility, park, play area, or healthcare facility. (b) The department shall ensure all of the following with respect to the use of methyl bromide as provided in subdivision (a): (1) The use of methyl bromide is conducted beyond an appropriate buffer zone from a residential dwelling, school, day care facility, park, play area, or healthcare facility. (2) The use of methyl bromide involves appropriate pollution-capturing devices. (3) Optional or unnecessary use of methyl bromide is reduced. (4) Appropriate warnings are posted. (5) Nonfumigant alternatives are used where possible. (c) The department shall levy a fee on those who use methyl bromide to clean or fumigate containers in order to cover the costs of administering and enforcing this section. SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.