Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Mark Stone newWhen it comes to curbing ocean plastic pollution, what do you think is the best route forward?

Plastic pollution in the ocean and along the coastline is a major problem for Californians—it costs taxpayers and local governments money to clean it up, and it can discourage tourism. The U.S. EPA found that California’s coastal cities and counties spend about $420 million annually to clean up marine debris. But plastic product litter doesn’t just damage California’s economy, it hurts marine life. In 2012, 663 species of marine animals either got entangled in plastic products or ingested them—a two-thirds increase in species from 1998.

This year I introduced legislation that would have required producers of the most commonly found marine plastic pollution to help address the problem they helped create. Since producers are in the best position to redesign products and packaging to create less waste, as well as to boost recycling and collection, I believe it’s reasonable and necessary to require them to do so. Unfortunately, that bill couldn’t muster the required votes to pass this year. Substantial policy questions like this can take some time to be successful. It also takes extensive efforts to educate policy makers on the significance of the problem and the value of the solution. These efforts are far from over.  Similarly, legislation that would have restricted single-use plastic bags failed passage in the Senate.  Clearly, it will be difficult to pass comprehensive legislation that will reduce harmful plastic pollution at the state level. Nevertheless, as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Coastal Protection, I will continue to fight for such policies here and investigate potential solutions.

While the state has lagged in this area, local governments are increasing their efforts to reduce plastic pollution. Several major coastal counties have adopted plastic bag ordinances. I’m pleased to report that our district is ahead of the curve in this area, with similar ordinance adoptions by the cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, Carmel, Monterey, and San Jose, as well as the counties of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara. Even more governments in our area, including Monterey County, are well on their way to passing similar ordinances.

California has led the nation in identifying and reducing toxic substance exposure to its residents. What are your thoughts on the federal debate about creating a national policy on harmful chemicals?

I join Sen. Barbara Boxer, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and a host of California elected officials in wholeheartedly denouncing the congressional effort to sidestep robust state laws protecting Californians from harmful chemicals. The Chemical Safety and Improvement Act includes broad preemption provisions that prevent states from acting to address risks of potentially toxic substances. This week I introduced a resolution to urge the President and Congress to object to the current version of the act.

Time and again, California voters have expressed their desire for policies that require transparency about chemicals in consumer products, as well as vigorous evaluation of risk and firm restrictions on verified toxic substances. This federal effort is clearly a blatant attempt to circumvent the strong protections that California voters approved.

Several California laws are at risk. In 1986, California voters overwhelmingly passed The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act through Proposition 65 in order to decrease California’s exposure to toxic substances known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm by requiring labeling of consumer products containing these toxic substances.  In 2008, the Legislature passed legislation establishing the Green Chemistry Program, in order to decrease California’s exposure to toxic substances by identifying and prioritizing chemicals of concern and evaluating safer alternatives to toxic chemicals through a science-based approach.  Key components of these landmark laws would be invalidated by the federal legislation.

Comments (2)Add Comment
Mr
written by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , August 15, 2013
Plastic waste greets you everywhere and breakdown to tiny particles will be a huge threat to everyone as it passes into the food chain. I feel that the Cruise ships and others need to have their waste audited at the beginning and end of each trip. The shore waste should be analysed and the products that appear more often should have a percentage cost levied on the Brands with the largest pollution footprint. Those brands can then pass this cost on to thier customers. That way the polluter will pay for the clear up. Some of this can be applied to land based pollution.
Teacher
written by Cathy Pearce, August 14, 2013
I believe a tax should be imposed on these toxic plastic waste products that could be used towards researching less toxic materials.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Designing Woman

Female gardener helps build Versailles in fun, if uneven, ‘A Little Chaos’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food