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Minutes for SB114 - Committee on Commerce

Short Title

Creating definitions for "advanced recycling" and related terms and separating advanced recycling from the current solid waste management system.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 1, 2023

Chair Erickson opened the hearing on SB 114.

Staff provided an overview of the bill.

Proponent:

Marcus Branstad, on behalf of the American Chemistry Council, spoke in favor of the bill. (Attachment 1) The bill appropriately regulates advanced recycling as manufacturing. As manufacturing facilities, these technologies are also subject to all applicable federal,state, and local environmental regulations including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and required permits for manufacturers from Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 21 other states, including border state Missouri have enacted very similar laws to ensure that these technologies are regulated as manufacturing. Other Midwestern states to pass this legislation include: Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. Amended language was provided.

Opponents:

Zack Pistora, Legislative Director and State Lobbyist, Kansas Chapter of Sierra Club, spoke in opposition to the bill.  (Attachment 2) Mr. Pistora stated that with all these concerns on advanced recycling, he urged the committee to oppose the bill, or add significant guard rails like:

1. no taxpayer subsidies

2.  assurances of environmental impact analyses

3.  setting standards

4.  a comprehensive material reduction strategy to ensure that we don't get our state into a plastic-based pitfall.

There are not very many good examples of advanced recycling facilities being operational and doing what they promise.

Jane Williams, Chair, Sierra Club, National Clean Air Team, appeared on Webex in opposition of the bill. (Attachment 3) Pyrolysis and gasification of waste are old technologies, and are a traditional combustion technologies that operate using fossil fuels to burn waste to create char, ash, and gases. The state of Kansas should be looking to be part of the sustainable long-term solutions to the plastic crisis, the state's natural endowment as an agricultural powerhouse and the clear need for hemp, bamboo and other agricultural products as replacements for many of the current uses of plastic is what the state should be considering supporting.

Veena Singla, Senior Scientist, National Resources Defense Council, appeared on Webex in opposition to the bill. (Attachment 4) Ms. Singla stated that most U.S. "advanced recycling" facilities are not recycling any plastic, facilities produce hazardous air pollutants and hazardous waste, facilities are built in communities of color, low-income communities disproportionately impacted. Changing classification is not needed for facilities to operate and changing classification will leave Kansas footing the bill for clean up. Miss Singla provided a white paper on "Chemical Recycling" is not recycling: The Plastic Industry Is Green washing Incineration. (Attachment 4a)

Neutral written only:

Julie Coleman, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (Attachment 5)

Jesse C. Moor, Self, Haysville, Kansas, provided amended language to the bill. (Attachment 6)

Chair Erickson closed the hearing on SB 114

The next meeting is February 2, 2023. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 am.