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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Update on California Ban on Toxic RV Holding Tank Chemicals

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To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1824 without my signature. This bill prohibits the sale and use of a specified list of chemicals in chemical toilets and waste facilities of recreational vehicles. Current law already gives the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) the ability to address the issue of chemical toilet products in recreational vehicles. Additionally, DTSC has the ability to address this issue through the Green Chemistry process.

This bill presents a scenario that is ripe for a Green Chemistry approach: competing science on each side of the issue; concern about the effectiveness of alternative products for the consumer’s intended use; consumer reaction in the wake of an ineffective alternative; and questions as to whether banning particular chemicals will actually address the underlying problem. Neither I, nor members of the legislature, are best equipped to answer these questions. We need science and scientists to undertake this challenge and develop a solution that both addresses the chemical problem and provides the consumer with a product that is both economical and effective for its intended purpose.

Under the leadership of my Secretary for Environmental Protection, the Green Chemistry process is well underway at DTSC. We will have regulations adopted by January 1, 2011 and DTSC should address the issue raised in this bill either in that process or under their existing authority.

Sincerely,
Arnold Schwarzenegger


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So, what does this mean for the average RVer? While the original bill did not become law, it appears that some sort of regulatory effort may still take place as the DTSC's Green Chemistry process develops in 2011. Stay tuned for more regulation.

Information courtesy of Escapees RV Club

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