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State Legislative Roundup

Aside from the 4 states with no regular 2018 session, all but Louisiana and North Carolina have already started the race to get legislation past committee and chamber deadlines before their sessions end. New Mexico finished its session and 13 states are following suit in March.

span_022718cWhy this matters: Bills and regulations targeting metals theft, vehicle de-titling and dismantling, product stewardship, and other commodities and issues can impact your business. In worst-case scenarios, legislation could make it impossible for recyclers to stay in business.

Vehicle De-titling /Dismantling

Legislation impacting vehicle recyclers and dismantlers is the most active category by far this year. However, there is a wide variance between the states in measures being considered: bills such as Mississippi SB 2517 sought to repeal provisions allowing the purchase of older vehicles without a title; while, Arizona HB 2307 seeks to allow it. NMVTIS reporting and electronic title and registration systems continue to be key issues in the states.

There is also increasing crossover between metals theft and vehicle provisions in recent years.

  • Some specifically include vehicle purchases in their metals theft laws
  • Some require that scrap processors follow motor vehicle laws
  • Some have a mix with more or less clarity for businesses trying to comply.

 

By the numbers:

  • 70 new bills and those that moved through Committee processes in 2018
  • 36 carryover bills from the 2017 session
  • 32 bills passed in 2017.

 

Metals Theft

Materials theft legislation has begun to taper in recent legislative sessions. Recyclers should not get comfortable yet. A trend away from massive rewrites towards smaller tweaks does not mean your state will not throw you a curve ball.

  • Wisconsin will likely be the first state to amend its metals theft laws this year   
    • Wisconsin SB 246 clarifying divisions between the state's vehicle and metals theft laws
    • Wisconsin SB 488 adds tribal identification cards to the permissible forms of seller ID in the state's recordkeeping requirements.

By the numbers:

  • 17 bills passed last year with a wide range of impacts
  • 34 bills introduced or moved through committee processes so far this year
  • 34 carryover bills from the 2017 session
  • Regulations could become the new ground to watch (see the Texas UXO article in this issue).

 

To keep updated on the most recent versions of the law, ISRI members are encouraged to visit ISRI's state metals theft law summaries available on ISRI's State Resources and Tracking pages and the State Metals Theft Law Database.

 

EPR/Product Stewardship

Recent years have seen a split in the states on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Some legislators have repeatedly sought to expand such programs to cover tires, paper products and packaging, and even general frameworks that could pull in any product. However, others have found it difficult to ensure that producers fully reimburse local governments and recyclers for the expenses incurred in collecting and responsibly recycling products.

Legislators in Illinois, North Carolina, West Virginia, and other states have all sought to loosen landfill bans on electronics rather than hold manufacturers liable for the full cost. Signs from North Carolina point to a renewed effort for the 2018 session.

In contrast, New England legislators - particularly in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont - have perennially introduced legislation to pull all products into EPR model systems. Connecticut HB 5128 is the first of these in this year's session, requiring the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection to examine beneficial end uses for tires other than tire-derived energy, as well as the viability of a tire

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