State legislatures across the nation are moving into high gear to beat committee and chamber deadlines before their sessions end.
Fourteen states finished their legislative sessions in March, and 11 more will adjourn before the end of April. ISRI is already tracking over 840 bills and regulations that could impact the recycling industry, and over 80 of these target tires and recycled rubber products.
While some legislatures continue to target synthetic turf and other recycled rubber products, the numerous studies indicating no significant risk to athletes and Council of State Governments (CSG) resolution noting that scientific evidence should be paramount when assessing recycled rubber play surfaces are starting to have a noticeable effect on the debate. Proposed moratoriums in Virginia and New Hampshire have already been defeated, while recyclers in Maryland successfully testified against a bill prohibiting state funds for synthetic playground or athletic field surfaces. However, a proposed Connecticut moratorium tied to the ongoing federal study received a joint favorable recommendation from the state's Committee on Children, and carryover bills from the 2017 session could still be revitalized.
Extended Producer Responsibility
While not as prevalent as in some recent sessions, ISRI is tracking several Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)/product stewardship bills that could impact recyclers, and more can be expected as the session continues. Connecticut HB 5128 once again raises the specter of a tire EPR program in New England, while new and carryover bills in Massachusetts target specific products such as packaging as well as general framework bills. While ISRI's members have so far been successful in testifying against such legislation, such as the 2017 Connecticut framework bill, the industry needs to stay on guard against legislation that seeks to take control of the recycling industry away from recyclers.
New Resources for Recyclers
New Tracking Resources: We've made it easier than ever for members to keep up with the latest developments. ISRI's State Resources and Tracking page (member login required) has been revamped with live reports on each state profile page as well as reports for individual commodities and issues, such as tires, synthetic turf, and extended producer responsibility. Each state profile page also has information and statutory links. We're currently working on expanding these to include state laws impacting tire recyclers; check your state to see if it's been added.
ISRI Positions on Policy Issues: We've also added summaries of ISRI's Positions impacting policy issues to the publicly-accessible ISRI State Policy page, making it easy to find and share the recycling industry's stance on issues such as tires, synthetic turf, and EPR / product stewardship when engaging with policymakers. ISRI's State Policy page also serves as a landing page for ISRI's other state advocacy and policy resources, such as the tracking pages, past policy highlights and testimony, and the metals theft law database.
Go Deeper: If you have any questions or concerns about pending legislation or regulations or the existing requirements in your state, you can always access the tracking tools and information on the State Resources and Tracking pages or contact Danielle Waterfield.
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