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Paint Recycling Bill Triumphs in MN

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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Gallons of leftover and unused paint will be collected and recycled under a new law in Minnesota, making that state the fifth in the nation to do so.

The legislation is the first step needed to bring the American Coatings Association’s PaintCare program to the state.

The bill, under House File 976, Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance and Policy, was approved May 18 by the Minnesota legislature and signed into law May 24 by Gov. Mark Dayton, according to the ACA.

Minnesota State Capitol
Minnesota State Capitol

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the PaintCare model bill into law May 24. Similar legislation has been passed in Oregon, California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Minnesota’s PaintCare program is set to begin July 1, 2014.

ACA calls the program a “platform for the proper and effective management of postconsumer paint.”

Number 5 in U.S.

The state is the fifth in the country to embrace the PaintCare model, following Oregon, California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Additionally, ACA announced that both houses of the Vermont legislature also recently passed a similar PaintCare bill, which is awaiting Gov. Peter Shumlin’s signature.

PaintCare model legislation is being pursued in Maine, New York and New Jersey this year. Other states that have expressed interest in the legislation include Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

Pushing for Passage

The program had the support of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and several non-governmental organizations, including various paint producers and independent retailers, the paint and coatings manufacturers’ industry group said.

PaintCare Inc
PaintCare Inc.

Paint is often the number-one product, by volume and cost, coming into Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs. PaintCare is a model for the “proper and effective management of post-consumer paint,” according to the ACA.

ACA testified March 5 in support of the Architectural Paint Product Stewardship Program (HF 865 and SF 639) before the state House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee and the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

In its testimony, ACA said it was committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint. The group also attested to the success of its PaintCare pilot program in Oregon, as well as more than a decade of success of similar programs in Canada.

Paint is often the number-one product, by volume and cost, coming into Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs.

ACA: Legislation Needed

Taking a legislative approach to the program provides two necessary elements for its success, ACA said.

“These elements are a level playing field among all producers and retailers and the need for a sustainable financing system engaging the consumer,” said Alison Keane, ACA’s vice president of Government Affairs.

“Unless all manufacturers and retailers participate in the program, and participate in a uniform manner, this type of program could lead to competitive advantages and disadvantages within the industry and among producers and retailers.

“In addition, when it comes to financing a system such as this, competitors cannot agree on the ‘price of products or services’ even for a good cause, without running afoul of anti-trust regulations.

Assessment Details

As in other states, architectural paint manufacturers selling in Minnesota will fund the program through an assessment added to their current price of paint, ACA said.

Paint calculator
PaintCare Inc.

PaintCare’s program also focuses on educating consumers to purchase the right amount of paint and take advantage of reuse opportunities that can help reduce the generation of leftover paint in the first place.

The assessment will be uniform and will be passed down through wholesale and retail sales of paint in the state in order to ensure that competitive disadvantages—particularly to state manufacturers and retailers—do not occur.

The assessment will be used to fund paint collection, reuse, recycling, disposal activities, as well as consumer education, outreach and administrative costs.

Moreover, the law specifies that the assessment funding the program must be approved by an independent audit submitted to MPCA and must be set at a rate to cover only the cost to manage and sustain the program.

The funding for the program will cover the cost of all paint to be recycled—not just new paint sold, but all the legacy paint already in consumers’ basements and garages.

One of ACA’s goals is to make this legislation consistent across all states, so that program implementation can truly be nationally coordinated and manufacturers and consumers of paint do not have differing programs across state lines.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Protection; Good Technical Practice; Laws and litigation; Paint disposal; Paint recycling; PaintCare program; Recycled building materials; Regulations

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