Coca-Cola, PepsiCo cut ties with plastics association
In a press release issued by Greenpeace, the group cheered the beverage companies’ exit from the association, adding that earlier in the year it had “highlighted the role that the plastics industry and front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have played in pushing preemption bills mean to ‘ban plastic bans’ and undermine statewide progress on plastic pollution.” [Emphasis added]
Climate Change & the Natural Environment
EPA’s Repeal of California Waiver Sets Up Legal Contest
EHS Daily Advisor, 9/24/2019
With the exception of a waiver denial in 2007—which was later reversed—the EPA has granted every request California has made since the first request was granted in 1968 to allow the state to set its own vehicle emissions standards. That record is now ended with the EPA’s final rule that withdraws its January 2013 waiver of federal preemption of the state’s Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program, which established greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards and a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate for model year (MY) 2021–2026 vehicles.
WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected Wednesday to revoke a decades-old rule that empowers California to set tougher car emissions standards than those required by the federal government — putting the state and the administration on a path to years of fighting in court.
EPA set to revoke California’s authority to set vehicle standards
The source said the Trump administration will find the EPA previously acted unlawfully by granting the state a waiver from the Clean Air Act and allowing it to develop stricter standards than those of the federal government. About a dozen states have adopted California’s standards, which are geared toward the larger goal of curbing greenhouse gases.
According to Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, these standards— authorized in 2013 by a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency and followed in part or whole by 13 other states, including Maryland, and the District of Columbia — are a key part of state efforts to protect public health and the environment. In the lawsuit, the coalition asserts that this Preemption Rule is unlawful and should be vacated.
Mayors, Health Groups Slam Plan to Lower Emissions Standards in Ohio
Ohio News Service, 9/20/2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Groups concerned about air quality, climate change and local control are speaking out to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to impose a lower federal standard for vehicle emissions, and prevent states from requiring more pollution controls on cars.
Shanmugam ’23: To address gun violence, return power to local government
Brown Daily Herald, 9/23/2019
On August 4, 2019, ten innocent people lost their lives at the hands of a gunman in Dayton, Ohio. Beyond the flashy headlines, the problem of gun violence in Ohio’s cities runs deeper: homicide rates in Cleveland and Cincinnati put them comfortably in the top ten among our nation’s cities. Across the Buckeye State, guns took a total of 1,589 lives in 2017 — an all-time high.
The biggest obstacle Ohioan cities must overcome to reduce gun-related deaths is not violent video games, or even easy access to firearms. The biggest obstacle is their own state government. [Emphasis added]
Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws
Proving once again that ignorance is no bar to publication in the U.S. legacy press, former executive editor of the New York Times Howell Raines has offered his inane take on the current gun control debate in a piece for the Washington Post…
However, were Raines’ proposal to be carried out, there would be some ways in which firearms laws would be more restrictive.
In 1960 gun-owners did not enjoy the strong state firearms preemption laws that they do today. Old versions of ATF’s State Laws and Published Ordinances are replete with all manner of local registration, may-issue licensing, permit to purchase, and carry ordinances that have been wiped off the books by state preemption laws.
The same goes for the Right-to-Carry. The Right-to-Carry revolution did not start until 1987, when Florida passed its landmark legislation. Prior to 1987, there were 9 Right-to-Carry states. Today there are 42. Before this sea change, many Americans could only lawfully exercise their Right-to-Carry at the discretion of a government official. [Emphasis added]
Is Big Soda winning the soft drink wars?
Without most of the nation noticing, the beverage industry has found a way to snuff out local sugar taxes—by squashing them at the state level.
Plastic Bags & Other Disposable Containers
See the complicated landscape of plastic bans in the U.S.
National Geographic, 8/15/2019
“The plastic industry is putting a lot of their money on preemption, and they’re winning,” says Jennie Romer, an attorney at the Surfrider Foundation, a group that advocates for pro-environment policies…
California organizations fight for soda tax
Javier Morales with [the Praxis Project] says the goal is to improve the health of the community…
“Fresno had very high rates of heart disease. If we look at the congressional districts, we’re 10 out of 80, and 13 our of 80 for heart disease,” says Chris Madsen, a professor at the Berkeley School of Health.
By implementing that tax in Fresno, organizers say it would raise about $7 million…
Morales says there are coalitions trying to repeal that preemption. [Emphasis added]
Colorado regulators, oil-rich Weld County reach agreement on local-control rules
DENVER Colorado regulators have signed an agreement with the state’s most productive oil and gas county to coordinate their drilling rules.
The state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Wednesday released the text of the agreement, outlining deadlines for drilling permits in unincorporated parts of Weld County.
The agreement is aimed at avoiding conflicts between the industry-friendly county and state regulators who are bound by a new law to put public health and safety ahead of energy production.
The law also gives local governments new regulatory powers, which prompted Weld County to write its own rules and claim that the county, not the state, had authority over well locations. [Emphasis added]
Adams County Ushers in the “Local Control” Era With New Oil and Gas Rules
Four months after lawmakers at the State Capitol passed a landmark energy bill, Colorado’s new, more localized era of oil and gas regulation has officially begun.
Gun control to be hotly debated before – and during – Florida’s 2020 session
SB 134: Pre-filed Aug. 1 by Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, would repeal a 1987 preemption law prohibiting local governments from adopting gun regulations more restrictive than the state’s. It has been referred to the Senate Infrastructure & Security, Judiciary and Rules committees. Rep. Dan Daley, D-Sunrise, pre-filed a House companion bill, HB 6009, on Aug. 16. It has not been assigned to a committee.
Miami Beach Commissioners Look to Challenge Florida’s Lax Gun Laws
Miami New Times, 9/5/2019
Despite the unfortunate distinction of having some of the most devastating mass shootings in the nation, Florida remains a fairly gun-friendly place. A state law passed in 2011 actually prohibits local governments from passing restrictions on firearms that are stricter than what’s allowed at the state level. Local officials who flout that law can be thrown out of office and personally fined up to $5,000 — a punishment that’s being challenged in court.
As expected, Republicans reject Democrats call for gun control special session
Senate Bill 134, Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, would repeal a 1987 preemption law prohibiting local governments from adopting gun regulations more restrictive than the state’s. It has not been assigned a committee.
Screven Co. Sheriff Wants Guns Banned at Recreation Department
Georgia state law does not prohibit firearms in city or county parks and a statute known as a “preemption law” holds that local governments cannot pass local gun laws stricter than state law.
Officials eye Winneshiek County mining
In 2015, following concerns over frac-sand mining, the supervisors made an ordinance that prohibits subsurface mining. Winneshiek County Supervisor Dean Thompson was heavily involved in the research behind the ordinance and brought the proposal to hire the law students for the mining study to the rest of the board…
While he believes Winneshiek County is in “good shape” with its ordinance, he acknowledged any ordinance can be challenged. In addition, he noted the state bars counties from regulating confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), removing any local control over those industrial operations. County governments fear the state could do the same with mining, he said. [Emphasis added]
SANDPOINT, Idaho.- Festival at Sandpoint faces cancellation as City of Sandpoint and Bonner County battle over firearms ban.
Nathaniel Rateliff, The Avett Brother, and Kool & The Gang. A star-studded line-up for the 2019 Festival at Sandpoint.
It drew big names this year, but now is threatened, in danger of moving, or even cancellation.
In a letter sent to KHQ, outside counsel representing the Bonner County Commissioners and others demand the Sandpoint city attorney to reconsider its ban on firearms and refrain from enforcing a private party’s ban on public property.
Missouri CAFO Law Goes Into Effect, Regulation Moves From Local To State Control
St. Louis Public Radio, 9/16/2019
The state of Missouri can begin taking over the regulation of large livestock operations from county and local representatives.
A Cole County judge last week lifted a temporary injunction that had been blocking a law that transfers that regulatory power from counties to the state since last month.
Judge halts new Missouri law on large farm regulations
It’s being called a blow for Missouri farmers. Earlier this week, a law was blocked that would have shielded livestock farms from stringent local health rules…
Critics of this law say it’s unconstitutional and infringes on local control. Critics of concentrated animal feeding operations oppose the bill saying they worry about water quality and odors.
Is ‘community power’ an energy game changer?
New Hampshire Business Review, 9/19/2019
Under a community power program, local governments can procure and provide electricity to their residents and businesses on a competitive basis. By bypassing outdated regulations and legacy technologies, community power programs can harness private sector innovation to lower costs for their customers and provide other energy services. Electric distribution utilities continue to deliver the electricity over their poles and wires.
Ohio Cities Would Get Back Gun Control Powers Under New Bill
Ohio lawmakers passed a law in 2006 that prevented local governments from passing any gun laws that are more restrictive than those enacted at the state level, and when cities challenged it, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the law. Now, there’s a move afoot to change it.
Column: State legislatures are on a mission to stifle home rule
Columbus Dispatch, 9/21/2019
Every day, our local elected officials make decisions that impact our communities — decisions that protect our health and safety, ensure municipal services are seamlessly executed and allow our local needs and values to guide the policies we implement. It’s important that they have this ability, especially when the federal or state government lack necessary laws or regulations that address local issues and concerns.
Your View by South Whitehall commissioner: How local governments can help save the planet
The Morning Call, 9/11/2019
For example in South Whitehall Township, where I am a commissioner, we surveyed the public and got a positive response to the idea of banning plastic bags and straws. But, during the survey period, the state put out a budget with a hidden item that disallowed municipalities to forbid plastic bag use.
This kind of preemption is a huge problem, and one that is fueled by lobbyists in politics. A big plastics manufacturer that doesn’t want a plastic bag ban can simply come in with lots of money and lobby state officials to make the rules that prevent local governments within the state from enacting the will of their constituents.
Philly soda tax: Here’s how much money it has raised, and how it’s been spent
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/21/2019
The tax also faces challenges from Harrisburg, where a bill introduced in the state legislature this spring would preempt and eliminate the city’s tax. A similar measure failed to gain enough support to pass last year. The current bill is being pushed by Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative of grocery stores that includes Jeff Brown’s ShopRite and Fresh Grocer Stores in Philadelphia.
SC gun group protests Richland County plans for new gun ordinance
The State, 9/11/2019
A gun rights group is saying it may pursue legal action against Richland County if the county passes a new gun ordinance.
S.C. Carry, which normally advocates for gun rights at the state Legislature, is planning to send a letter to the county warning that any attempt to regulate guns at the county level would violate state law.
McKinney ponders health dangers of 5G technology
The Texas Monitor, 8/23/2019
Cities that have delayed or rejected the technology are hoping they can get around a federal law that preempts local control regarding some elements of telecommunications, including radio frequencies. So far, there have been no legal challenges to local 5G bans, however.
Turner wants increased local authority for gun control
Houston Chronicle, 8/21/2019
Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday said he wants state lawmakers to give cities and counties more flexibility to address gun violence in response to mass shootings this month that killed 31 people, including 22 in El Paso…
Current state law mostly forbids local governments from passing measures that restrict gun usage.
Plastic bags are killing horses and cows across the state
Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 8/14/2019
Last year, the Texas Supreme Court struck down the city of Laredo’s plastic bag ban, effectively ending about a dozen similar policies in other Texas municipalities…
In its ruling, the court said that single-use bags are considered garbage and fall under the state’s solid waste disposal law, which preempts municipal ordinances. [Emphasis added]
House Bill 3231 improves and modernizes Texas’ firearms preemption law, specifically with regard to zoning authority that could be otherwise be used by cities and counties to circumvent state law and regulate the sale or transfer of firearms and ammunition at the local level.
Opinions Vary On How Large Wisconsin Livestock Operations Should Be Regulated
Green County resident Bethany Storm thinks the law should rely on local expertise, instead of treating Wisconsin’s varied landscape with one-size-fits-all regulations. “My local county land and water conservation staff know the landscape in Green County,” she said. “They know that 95% of my town sits on karst rock over very little topsoil. They know that barnyards that were built straddling our trout streams have caused problems in the past. Wisconsin needs local control back.” [Emphasis added]
Local control faces third assault
Jackson Hole News & Guide, 9/25/2019
It’s startling to consider that the Wyoming Legislature isn’t even back in session, and another bill aimed at seizing local control from Jackson Hole elected officials is making its way to Cheyenne.