Legislative Analyst's Office
Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), in conjunction with local agencies, is responsible for promoting waste management practices aimed at reducing the amount of waste that is disposed in landfills. The CIWMB administers various programs which promote waste reduction and recycling, with particular programs for waste tire and used oil recycling. The board also regulates landfills through a permitting, inspection, and enforcement program that is mainly carried out by local enforcement agencies that are certified by the board. In addition, CIWMB oversees the cleanup of abandoned solid waste sites.
The budget proposes expenditures of $93.9 million from various funds (primarily special funds) for support of CIWMB. This is a reduction of $16.5 million, or 15 percent, from estimated 2000-01 expenditures. The net reduction reflects a decrease of $12.3 million for (1) recycling market development loans and (2) promoting used oil recycling due to lower resources in the special funds supporting these programs. The budget proposes an increase of $1.9 million to extend 23.5 limited-term positions for two years to increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfills.
The budget fails to implement recent legislationChapter 838, Statutes of 2000 (SB 876, Escutia)that expanded the tire recycling program. This failure is because the board has yet to adopt an expenditure plan for the program in the budget year. We recommend that the board submit its plan, consistent with Chapter 838, to the Legislature by the time of budget hearings.
Board's Tire Recycling Program Addresses An Environmental Problem. For about ten years, the board has administered a tire recycling program which provides grants, loans, and contracts to public agencies and businesses for research, business development, tire pile cleanup, and other specified purposes to reduce landfill disposal of waste tires. In addition, the board regulates waste tire management facilities and waste tire haulers under this program. Currently, there are at least two to four million waste tires in illegal stockpiles that have been identified and investigated by the board. There is likely a significant number of waste tires in other stockpiles that remain to be identified or investigated. These sites pose substantial public health and safety concerns, including the risk of fires, mosquito breeding, and groundwater contamination. As an example of the risks posed, a major fire at an illegal waste tire stockpile erupted near the town of Westley in September 1999 that burned several million tires over a period of many months.
Legislature Enacted Changes to Tire Recycling Program. In 1999, the board reported to the Legislature on strategies and funding requirements to eliminate illegal waste tire stockpiles and increase markets for recycled waste tires. In response to this report, the Legislature enacted Chapter 838, Statutes of 2000 (SB 876, Escutia), to expand and make a number of improvements to the board's tire recycling program. The changes include:
Budget Does Not Implement Chapter 838. While the Governor's budget reflects higher revenues in the California Tire Recycling Management Fund due to the fee increases enacted by Chapter 838, the budget does not reflect any expenditure proposals to implement the requirements of Chapter 838. Rather, the budget proposes expenditures for the tire recycling program at exactly the same level as in the current year$5.2 million. Accordingly, the budget is contrary to Chapter 838's requirement that at least $6.5 million be spent annually from the fund to clean up and remediate waste tire piles.
At the time this analysis was prepared, the board had not taken action to approve its expenditure plan for the tire recycling program in 2001-02. The board also had yet to approve the five-year plan for the program, as required by Chapter 838. According to the board, it hopes to finalize the plan by April 2001. Without such a plan, the Legislature is unable to assess the board's priorities for the tire recycling funds and determine whether the budget proposal is consistent with Chapter 838 and other statutory requirements.
Board Should Submit Expenditure Plan by Budget Hearings. In order to enable the Legislature to evaluate the budget proposal for the tire recycling program, we recommend that the board submit its expenditure plan for this program to the Legislature by budget hearings. In particular, the plan should identify how it will implement the statutory direction for the program specified in Chapter 838.