April 3

State General Assembly Bill Proposes Limited Regulatory Relief For Some Used Oil Generators

Earlier this year, California Assembly member Phillip Chen introduced AB 2928. AB 2928 proposes to revise the state’s used oil management requirements, which generally requires used oil to be managed as hazardous waste, by easing the compliance burden on a narrow group of used oil generators. If the bill becomes law, generators of “highly controlled used oil” seeking to send their non-hazardous used oil off-site for recycling would be subject to less stringent testing and recordkeeping requirements than other used oil generators in the state. A generator of “highly controlled used oil” is defined in the bill as a person or entity who: generates used oil from similar types of equipment used under similar circumstances; services, repairs and maintains equipment that is only owned and operated by the generator; derives no revenue from the activities associated with the generator’s equipment; does not use or store halogenated solvents in the same area where used oil is generated or stored on-site, and certifies that management practices are employed to prevent the commingling of used oil and halogenated solvents.

Generators that fall within the above-listed criteria seeking to claim that their used oil is exempt from regulation as hazardous waste would only be required to test their used oil once a year to verify that it is not hazardous and meets the “purity” standards set by the Department of Toxic Substances Control. All other generators of used oil desiring to send their used oil off-site for recycling as non-hazardous waste would still be required to test all used oil before it is transported off-site.

The proposed amendments to California’s used oil requirements are a step in the right direction, as they would ease the burden of recycling used oil for many businesses in the state. However, further regulatory relief should be considered by the California Legislature. If AB 2928 becomes law, California’s used oil management requirements would remain the most stringent in the nation.

A hearing on AB 2928 is scheduled in the General Assembly’s Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on April 10, 2018.

PDF – State General Assembly Bill Proposes Limited Regulatory Relief For Some Used Oil Generators

© 2018 – Hartman King PC. All rights reserved. The information in this article has been prepared by Hartman King PC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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Hartman King PC
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February 27

Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) – When is the annual due date?!

Under California law, businesses that handle hazardous materials above certain thresholds must annually prepare and submit a Hazardous Materials Business Plan (“HMBP”) to the appropriate local Certified Unified Program Agency (“CUPA”).

By default, regulated businesses must submit HMBPs annually on or before March 1. However, the March 1 deadline is, like many other aspects of the HMBP program, subject to your local CUPA’s modification. For example, Monterey County Health Department’s due date is January 1, San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department’s is January 15, Los Angeles County’s is (usually) March 15, and several other CUPAs require submission within 365 days of your last submission, no matter the date.

The administrative penalties for a late submission can reach up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) per day or five thousand dollars ($5,000) per day for “knowing” violations.

Having prepared hundreds of HMBPs for clients throughout California, we appreciate the challenges businesses face in understanding and addressing the requirements established by over 80 CUPAs and numerous participating agencies throughout the state. If you would like to know more about the state’s HMBP program and how it may affect your business, please feel free to contact us.

PDF – When is the annual due date?!

© 2018 – Hartman King PC. All rights reserved. The information in this article has been prepared by Hartman King PC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

For more information, contact:
Hartman King PC
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February 16

Commercial Growers Who Irrigate Beware: Regional Board Takes Steps Toward Increased Enforcement of Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program

In the fall of 2017, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (“Regional Board”) sent 464 “outreach letters” to likely owners of commercial irrigated farmland located in the Eastern San Joaquin County and Sacramento Valley regions. This is the first step in the Regional Board’s process to request commercial farmers who irrigate to comply with the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, or ILRP, before taking enforcement action against the farmer.

Under California law, all owners of commercial irrigated farmlands are required to comply with California Water Code section 13260 and file reports of waste discharge. There are two ways to comply: (1) Join one of the existing coalitions that help regionally located farmers comply as a group; or (2) Meet the regulatory requirements as an individual.

The penalties for ignoring the Regional Board’s request to comply can be significant. Violations may result in a misdemeanor conviction and potentially cost the farmer $1,000 to $5,000 per day for each day in violation. For instance, in August of 2017, the Regional Board settled with a farmer of 35 acres in Fresno and Madera Counties over an alleged violation of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program for approximately $27,000. However, past settlement amounts for violations of the program have reached over double that amount.

If farmers do not contact the Regional Board after receiving an initial “outreach letter,” they can expect to receive a final “outreach letter,” followed by one or more “Directive Letters,” requesting that the farmer comply with the ILRP. If those Directives are ignored, farmers should expect the Regional Board to issue a Notice of Violation and start the formal enforcement process, which may result in significant penalties being issued.

PDF – IRLP Enforcement Trend

© 2018 – Hartman King PC. All rights reserved. The information in this article has been prepared by Hartman King PC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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Hartman King PC
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January 1

Aminah Famili elevated to Counsel

Hartman King PC congratulates Aminah Famili for being elevated to Counsel with the firm as of January 1, 2018. Aminah received her law degree in 2010 from University of Maryland School of Law, cum laude, where she earned a Certificate of Concentration in Environmental Law. She is admitted to practice in California and Maryland, and has been with the firm since 2015. Congratulations, Aminah!

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Hartman King PC
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August 15

Jennifer Hartman King receives multiple awards from Northern California Super Lawyers

In 2017, Northern California Super Lawyers identified Jennifer Hartman King among the top 100 lawyers in Northern California, top 50 women lawyers in Northern California and top 25 lawyers in Sacramento. These designations are based on a survey of Jennifer’s peers.

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March 15

Founder Jennifer Hartman King named 2017 “Top Lawyer” by Sacramento Magazine

Sacramento Magazine included Hartman King PC Founder Jennifer Hartman King on its annual “Top Lawyer” list in 2017. She has been included on this listed every year since the first list was published in 2015. Congratulations, Jennifer!

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May 25

The FDA Gives Nutrition Facts Panels a Face Lift in the Name of Health

On May 20, 2016, the FDA finalized and released the freshened look for Nutrition Facts panels with the goal of allowing consumers to more easily make healthy food choices. The changes to the aged label reflect a better scientific understanding of nutritional needs and consumer habits. Compliance deadlines for manufacturers to implement the new design are July 26, 2018, or July 26, 2019, depending on annual food sales.

Perhaps the most obvious substantive changes to the 20-year-old Nutrition Facts panel are formatting updates. The caloric information is noticeably larger; in fact, “Calories” is denoted in larger font than any other piece of nutritional information. Similarly, the serving size information will increase in size, although not as drastically as the caloric information.

In addition to the formatting changes, the FDA also revamped the substantive label content based on research, recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public. Scientific studies have driven a better understanding of not only nutritional requirements, but also of consumer tendencies and habits. This research is illustrated in the changes to the required nutrients included in a label, as well as serving size requirements that are based on the amount of food and beverages that people more realistically consume. For example, a pint of ice cream may now be three servings, versus four servings.

Overall, the refreshed look and content of the Nutrition Facts label is a modernized and more logical approach which should provide consumers easier access to healthy food choices.

© 2016 – Hartman King PC. All rights reserved. The information in this article has been prepared by Hartman King PC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

For more information, contact:
Hartman King PC
contact@HartmanKingLaw.com