KRC Supports Electronic Waste Manufacturer Responsibility Bill Posted: February 16, 2009
February 11, 2009
To: All Members, Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee
From: Tom FitzGerald, Director, Kentucky Resources Council
Re: Senate Bills 27, 63
I?m writing to encourage your support for two bills before you in Committee this morning: Senate Bill 27 and Senate Bill 63.
Senate Bill 27 creates the framework for providing funds to governmental agencies to assist the private sector in the redevelopment of underutilized abandoned properties by conducting brownfield assessments, corrective action, and other actions necessary to prepare the property for beneficial reuse. Abandoned, underutilized industrial and commercial properties represent both a blight on the landscape of urban and rural communities and a headache for local governments, and a real opportunity to create employment and to strengthen the tax base in formerly industrial areas and quality of life for nearby residents
A significant barrier to redevelopment of the properties arise from perceived or actual contamination of the properties and the reluctance of lending institutions to finance the reuse of properties. Funding local and state government efforts to perform a range of actions in order to assist in promoting the reuse of the properties is a legitimate public health and safety function that can lower the transaction costs and uncertainties associated with restoration of the properties, and attract private capital and interest in the properties. It is likely that the new federal stimulus efforts will include new funding for brownfield redevelopment, and enactment of SB 27 will create a framework for receipt and distribution of those funds. It is deserving of your support.
Senate Bill 63 is a thoughtful, comprehensive framework to address the pressing problem of management of electronic wastes. Eighteen states, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia, and New York City, all have programs intended to increase recovery and recycling of obsolete electronics, and many manufacturers and retailers of new electronics have instituted programs for e-waste recovery. There remains, however, a significant volume of these problematic wastes that end up in landfills or incinerators.
SB 63 would assure that all Kentuckians have access to e-waste recovery and recycling, providing flexibility to the manufacturing sector in the design of the programs, and allowing the manufacturing and retail sectors to build upon the existing efforts that currently capture a small fraction of the wastes due to the unavailability of such programs in many areas of the Commonwealth. SB 63 will have a secondary benefit, which is to encourage manufacturers to design new electronics with end-of-life product management in mind.
I encourage your support for the bill. For more information on the programs in other states, visit the National Electronics Recycling Infrastructure Clearinghouse at www.ecyclingresource.org and for more background on the Management of Electronic Waste in the United States, visit EPAs website at www.epa.gov.