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February 15, 2016

Legislature once again blocking local governments

Legislature once again blocking local governments
Tallahassee Democrat
Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Florida legislators quickly fault the federal government for overreaches, mandates and for just generally being “big government.” Yet last week, without public input or scrutiny, the Florida House of Representatives moved to strip cities and counties of their ability to regulate polystyrene foam foodware. Click here to read the full story.

February 9, 2016

Polystyrene Legislation Updates

Last week the Florida House pushed through a last minute amendment to HB7007 (a Department of Agriculture bill) to preempt local polystyrene (aka “styrofoam”) regulations. The bill, including the foam preemption, passed the full House on February 3rd.  The polystyrene preemption language has not been filed in the Senate yet, but rest assured that we are working hard to protect home rule, our beaches, and waterways.

We are currently working with legislators to craft a solution to the preemption issue and will share a call to action as soon as there is an opportunity for the public to weigh in.  In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to your Senator and let them know that you oppose the preemption of local polystyrene ordinances. Click here to find your legislators!

February 1, 2016

Action Alert: Plastic Bags & Polystyrene

ACTION ALERT: There are a number of very good amendments filed to the bad polystyrene (foam) bill- HB7007! Some of the amendments deal with polystyrene foam foodware and others deal with single-use plastic bags. This bill will be voted on by the full House Tuesday at 4pm- here’s how you can help!

Plastic Bags:

Representative Richardson has filed a critically important amendment on the plastic bag preemption! It gives the Legislature until January 1st, 2017 to adopt rules for the regulation of single-use plastic bags. If the Legislature fails to do so, the preemption would be lifted.

If the Legislature does not adopt, reject, or adopt in part the recommendations of the department before January 1, 2017, this subsection expires on that date, and thereafter any local government or local government agency may enact any rule, regulation, or ordinance regarding use, disposition, sale, prohibition, restriction, or tax on disposable plastic bags. Click here to read the full amendment.

Polystyrene Foam Foodware:

Representative Richardson and Representative Miller have also filed amendments to the proposed ban on local regulation of polystyrene.

  1. Representative Miller’s amendment (712405) gives local governments until April 2016 to pass any polystyrene ordinances (instead of the original deadline of January 1st, 2016- which has already passed!). Click here to read the amendment.
  2. Representative Richardson’s amendment (111591) goes even further and extends the deadline for the preemption until January 1st, 2017. Click here to read the amendment.
  3. Representative Richardson’s other amendment (510403) provides an exemption for coastal communities from the preemption of polystyrene- meaning that any communities that touch the Gulf, Atlantic or a Bay would still be able to regulate or ban polystyrene foam foodware. Click here to read the amendment.

We need you to call your House member ASAP- the vote is Tuesday at 4pm! Click here to find your House member!

Ask them:
  • Support ALL of Representative Richardson’s amendments: delay implementation of the polystyrene preemption until January 1st, 2017, provide an exemption of coastal communities, and require the state to make a comprehensive statewide plan to deal with single-use plastic bags.
        • Coastal communities are dependent on clean and healthy beaches.
        • Because of its lightweight nature, foam containers frequently blow out of trashcans and garbage trucks, where they make their way to storm drains, retention ponds, waterways and our beaches.
        • Polystyrene foam foodware is rarely recycled, frequently littered and never biodegrades.

    Some communities have been working on foam ordinances for months and are ready to implement those policies. Give them the opportunity to protect their local communities and waterways! For the last six years, the Legislature has failed to take action on the DEP’s

    recommendations on plastic bags

      . Require the Legislature to create a statewide policy to regulate single-use plastic bags, and if the Legislature fails to do so- give that authority back to our local communities!

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