Oregon is poised to become the first state to initiate a “paint producer responsibility law” that will make paint manufacturers responsible for mounting a program to take back leftover paint. The pilot program will be run by a stewardship organization and funded by manufacturers. The bill is now awaiting action by the governor, who is expected to sign it.
House Bill 3037, the Paint Product Stewardship bill, passed the Oregon House and Senate in June. These program sunsets in 2014 but Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality must submit a report to the Legislature no later than October 2011, which will likely be the basis for making the program permanent.
Passage of the bill is the result of a multi-year collaboration and stakeholder process between the paint industry, states and local governments--the Paint Product Stewardship Initiative. As a result of the process, the legislation was drafted jointly by DEQ and the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA). Because leftover paint makes up more than 60 percent of all household hazardous waste in Oregon, the new law will result in substantial cost savings to government. The Metro Regional Government, which oversees the greater Portland metropolitan area, is expected alone to save $1 million per year. In addition, the law will result in new and expanded service for citizens whose local governments do not offer paint collection and recycling opportunities.
Specific timelines in the legislation are as follows:
• By March 1, 2010: Producers must submit a plan for a statewide program for DEQ approval;
• By July 1, 2010: Producers must implement the program as described in the plan;
• Paint may not be sold unless the producer is participating in a statewide stewardship program.
• At time of sale, producer or retailer must provide consumer with information on end-of-life management options.
The program may start much soon than the July 2010 deadline, officials say. As the demonstration project for the rest of the country, the NPCA is interested in working with DEQ to implement the program sooner.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign the bill. The Texas Legislature passed a similar bill on May 31, but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.