Today's Law As Amended


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SB-580 Department of Transportation: highways and roads: recycled plastics study and specifications.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Legislature enacted Assembly Bill 341 in 2011 (Chapter 476 of the Statutes of 2011), which established a new statewide goal of 75% recycling through source reduction, recycling, and composting by 2020.
(b) The state is facing a crisis due to international dynamics that have critically impacted the state’s traditional recycling markets.
(c) This crisis comes at a time when recycling rates have been dropping around the country. The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery recently announced that the state’s recycling rate has hit a new low of 40%, far short of the 75% goal set by the state.
(d) The environmental and public health impacts of plastic pollution are devastating and the environmental externalities and public costs of cleaning up and mitigating plastic pollution are already staggering and continue to grow.
(e) As the fifth largest economy in the world, the state has a responsibility to lead on solutions to the growing plastic pollution crisis, and to lead in the reduction of unnecessary waste generally.
(f) Municipalities across the world have experimented with the inclusion of recycled plastics in asphalt used for road construction and repair projects.
(g) In 2012, the City of Vancouver, in Canada, reported the use of blue box recycled plastics as an asphalt wax additive.
(h) In 2015, the City of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, announced its plan to factory produce recycled plastic segments for road construction.
(i) In 2019, the first road in the United States using recycled plastic in its asphalt mix was placed at the University of California, San Diego.
(j) If the state learns that including recycling plastics in asphalt used for road construction and repair is viable, the state may be able to successfully mitigate one of the most pressing environmental issues while simultaneously improving road conditions.

SEC. 2.

 Section 42704.3 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

42704.3.
 (a) (1) The Department of Transportation may conduct a study to assess the feasibility, cost effectiveness, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 42701, and life-cycle environmental benefits and detrimental impacts, including, but not limited to, the recyclability of asphalt containing recycled plastics and any life-cycle environmental benefits and detrimental impacts identified pursuant to paragraph (2), of including recycled plastics in asphalt used as a paving material in the construction, maintenance, or rehabilitation of a highway or road.
(2) If the department conducts the study pursuant to paragraph (1), the Ocean Protection Council shall review the study design and findings to determine how including recycled plastics in asphalt for use as a paving material will impact the ocean’s health.
(b) If the department determines in the study conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) that including recycled plastics in asphalt is feasible and that recycled plastics can be included in asphalt in a manner that is cost effective and provides life-cycle environmental benefits, the department may establish specifications for including recycled plastics in asphalt used as a paving material in the construction, maintenance, or rehabilitation of a highway or road.
(c) The department shall, on or before January 1 of each year, commencing January 1, 2023, prepare an analysis on its progress studying recycled plastics, as specified in subdivision (a), and its progress, if applicable, toward establishing the specifications for recycled plastics, as specified in subdivision (b). The department shall, on or before January 1 of each year, submit the analysis to the Assembly Committee on Transportation and the Senate Committee on Transportation.
(d) If the department establishes specifications pursuant to subdivision (b), a local agency that has jurisdiction over a street or highway shall do either of the following:
(1) Adopt, at a regularly scheduled public hearing of the local agency’s legislative or other governing body, the specifications established by the department pursuant to subdivision (b) for including recycled plastics in asphalt.
(2) Discuss at a regularly scheduled public hearing of the local agency’s legislative or other governing body why the specifications are not being adopted.
SEC. 3.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.