News from Senator

Jenny Oropeza

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                Contact:

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010                                                              Ray Sotero, Communications Director

(916) 651-4028 (o), (916) 834-1128 (c) Ray.Sotero@sen.ca.gov

 

 Bill  would help protect environment, public health

Oropeza introduces bill to overhaul

flawed state e-waste disposal system

SACRAMENTO – State government agencies would be required to significantly improve tracking and disposal of their own hazardous electronic waste, under a measure introduced today by Sen. Jenny Oropeza.

“E-waste, such as obsolete computers or broken televisions, pose serious environmental and health threats and must be disposed of properly,” Oropeza, D-Long Beach, said after introducing Senate Bill 1052.  “I am alarmed the State Auditor’s Office has found so much confusion and lack of coordination among state agencies.”

Under SB 1052, oversight of state e-waste disposal would be assigned to a single agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.  As recommended by the auditor’s office, state agencies would be required to adopt e-waste management plans for accurately tracking and reporting the e-waste they generate, recycle and discard.

“Streamlining this process would not only help protect the environment and public health, but also would result in better use of taxpayer funds,” Oropeza said.

Currently, the state Department of General Services is responsible for overseeing state disposal of e-waste.  But the auditor’s office found state agencies do not consistently report information such as the amount of e-waste they divert from municipal landfills.  The audit traced the problem to a lack of knowledge and clear communication.  The audit also found that the Department of General Service’s reporting of e-waste disposal has been infrequent and inconsistent.

E-waste is trash comprised of electronic devices such as stereos, computers, fax machines, or televisions.  Often these devices contain toxic amounts of chromium, cadmium, lead and mercury.  State law generally prohibits landfill disposal of hazardous waste, including e-waste.

Proper management of e-waste is no small problem.  A recent study by the National Safety Council estimated that a total of nearly 10,000 computers and televisions become obsolete in California on a daily basis. 

The first policy hearing on SB 1052 has not yet been set.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: The office of Sen. Oropeza can provide a Spanish-speaking representative to comment on this Press Release.

 

For more, visit Jenny’s Web site below.

Elected to the 28th Senate District in November 2006, Jenny Oropeza is one of the highest-ranking Latinos in the Legislature and chairs the Senate Majority Caucus.  For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/oropeza

 

 

Ray Sotero
Communications Director
Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach
Chair, Senate Majority Caucus
Capitol Building, Room 5114
Sacramento, Calif.95864
(916) 651-4028
www.senate.ca.gov/oropeza