The foremost issue for state legislatures regarding asthma was permission to allow students and school administrators to administer emergency asthma medications.
Arizona S 1026 Act 214 provides for the authority to administer emergency medications to certain students. S 1071 Act 191 extends this authority to charter schools.
Arkansas H 1745 Act 851 amends the laws concerning prescription asthma inhalers in school districts and public charter schools and authorizes a school district or public charter school to acquire and stock albuterol for administration in certain situations.
The California legislature enacted A 743 Act 101 which requires a school district to accept a written statement for a pupil carrying and self-administering inhaled asthma medication from a physician or surgeon who is contracted with a prepaid health plan operating lawfully in Mexico.
The Illinois legislature enacted S 1250 which amends the school code, requires a school district, public school, or nonpublic school to permit a student diagnosed with a pancreatic insufficiency to self administer and self manage his or her pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, if the parent or guardian of the student provides the school with written authorization, as well as written authorization for the self-therapy from the students physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse.
Oklahoma S 381 Act 126 requires a school district board of education that elects to stock inhalers to notify parents that trained school professionals may administer asthma medication to students.
In Texas, the legislature enacted two bills relating to asthma. H 2243 Act 192 provides for the use of prescription asthma medicine on public and private school campuses. H 4260 Act 1321 revises provisions relating to the possession and administration of an epinephrine auto-injector by amusement parks, child care facilities, a day or youth camp, private or independent institutions of higher education, restaurants, sports venue, and youth centers provides for standing orders.
Utah H 344 Act 236 governs the administration of stock albuterol by certain entities to an individual and permits a school to make stock albuterol available to certain employees for administering to students. Virginia H 1377 Act 247 provides that an employee of an outdoor educational organization for youth may possess and administer epinephrine.
Maryland’s H 1160 Act 724 establishes the ‘Breathe Easy East Baltimore Pilot Program’. Nebraska’s LR 107 congratulates the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance on receiving the National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management. Pennsylvania’s HR 256 recognizes May 7, 2019, as World Asthma Day.
Nevada’s S 262 Act 258 provides for the tracking and reporting of information concerning the pricing of prescription drugs for treating asthma.
Legislatures enacted 16 bills relating to body art. Arizona enacted S 1401 Act 96 exempting persons who dry, style, arrange, curl, hot iron, or shampoo and condition hair from licensing requirements. California A 647 Act 60 requires the manufacturer of a hazardous substance that constitutes a cosmetic to post the material safety data sheet on its website.
Georgia S 214 Act 146 removes certain requirements for certificates of registration for cosmetologists, hair designers, estheticians, nail technicians, master barbers, and barbers. Minnesota S 326 Act 29 modifies requirements for supervisors of temporary body art technicians. New Jersey exempted hair braiding from licensure (A 3754 Act 126). New Mexico’s S 142 Act 245 requires that an applicant for a body art tattoo or piercing scarification license be granted credit for equivalent training or experience obtained outside the state.
The Virginia legislature enacted four bills related to body art. H 555 Act 219 which provides that the term cosmetologist shall not include hair braiding upon human hair, a wig, or hairpiece. H 790 Act 404 exempts persons working in a barbershop or cosmetology salon, whose duties are confined to blow drying, arranging, dressing, or curling hair, from being required to obtain an occupational license. H 1554 Act 231 and S 906 Act 237 establishes the occupational title of Master Barber.
Illinois S 241 Act 303 makes it unlawful for a manufacturer to import for profit, sell, or offer for sale any cosmetic that was developed or manufactured using animal testing. Nebraska’s L 449 prohibits scleral tattooing. South Dakota H 1176 Act 55 provides for the regulation of saline tattoo removal by municipalities. Washington’s H 1856 Act 307 also prohibits scleral (eyeball) tattooing.
Food and Food Safety
Laws in 42 of the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia were enacted regarding food in 2019. There were 798 bills introduced in 2019, with 148 being enacted. Topics included the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), changes to the retail food code, inspectors for produce safety and responses to allergens. New Jersey and New York had the most bills related to the topic (63 and 59, respectively), followed by Hawaii with 46. At the opposite end were Alaska and Ohio, which had no bills regarding food safety.
The foremost issue regarding food was food safety. Legislatures reviewed many aspects of food safety, from the adoption of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food code to state efforts to implement the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.
Laws regarding food establishments and retail food locations were popular, with 130 bills being introduced and 14 becoming law.
The most interesting issue in 2019 was cell- or plant-based meat laws. The popularity of plant-based meats led to several laws being introduced and enacted on the labeling of these products. Many of these laws involve cell-based meats as well, even though such products are not readily available.
Arkansas H 1407 Act 501 Truth in Labeling of Edible Agricultural Products which includes both meats and rice, bans calling cauliflower rice a “rice” product. Mississippi’s S 2922 bans cell-based, insect-based or plant-based foods from being termed as a “meat food product.” Kentucky’s H 311 Act 42 restricts any food product that is represented as meat or a meat product that contains any cultured animal tissue. Kentucky’s HR 105 urges the U.S. Congress to enact legislation granting the U.S. Department of Agriculture jurisdiction over labeling requirements for imitation meat products.
Like Arkansas, Louisiana’s S 152 Act 273 addresses truth in labeling requirements by prohibiting misbranding or misrepresenting of agricultural products, including plant-based meats or rice and soy products.
Montana’s H 327 Act 186 looks to work along with USDA-FDA labeling, since it will allow the word “meat” but require additional notification on the source of the meat. In Oklahoma, the legislature did not ban the word ”meat” as applied to cell or plant-based products, but did prohibit persons from advertising or selling food plans or carcasses from engaging in certain misleading or deceptive practices, meaning that the fact the product came from non-traditional means must be clear (S 392).
Other bills on labeling of cell- or plant-based meat were enacted in Alabama (H 518), Colorado (HR 1005), North Dakota (H 1400; HCR 3024), South Carolina (H 4245), South Dakota (S 68 Act 181) and Wyoming (S 68 Act 100).
Limiting a state’s oversight of food safety regulations was a popular topic, with 59 bills being introduced regarding cottage foods. Food freedom bills, which were introduced and enacted in previous sessions, saw only one bill introduced in 2019; it was not enacted. To date, every state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have enacted cottage food laws that exempt small-scale food production from regulatory oversight, with the exception of New Jersey.
Fifty-nine bills were introduced in the 2019 sessions to expand or define the scope of cottage food operations. Allowing for larger operations to be eligible for cottage food protections, permitting hazardous food products, and altering rules on food handling all were reviewed by state legislatures.
California’s A 377 Act 536 prohibits a microenterprise home kitchen operation from producing, manufacturing, processing, freezing, or packaging milk or milk products, including cheese and ice cream. The law prohibits a third-party delivery service from delivering microenterprise-produced food, except to an individual who has a physical or mental disability.
Connecticut’s S 233 Act 18 provides that a cottage food product does not include maple syrup or honey.
In Illinois, S 2068 Act 425 amends the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act by prohibiting a public health district from regulating the preparing and serving of food in a private residence that is prepared by or for the lessees and their guests.
Maryland’s S 290 Act 370 alters the definition of cottage food products to include food sold to retail food stores or food cooperatives. The law requires the owner of a cottage food business to submit information to the Maryland Department of Health before selling a cottage food product to a retail food store. H 527 Act 370 alters the definition of cottage food products to include food sold to retail food stores or food cooperatives, which requires that a specific label be applied to cottage food products. H 522 Act 230 provides that regulations from the Maryland Department of Health establishing a licensing system is a rescindable, rather than non-rescindable, alternative regulation. The bill also extends the number of consecutive days of operation authorized under a license to operate a temporary food service facility before the license expires.
In Montana, S 57 Act 87 removes the authority of the Department of Livestock to inspect and regulate home-killed meat.
Texas’ S 572 Act 590 requires cottage food production operations to include labels regarding food safety and restricts internet and mail-order sales. H 1694 Act 373 limits food regulations applied to farms, farmers' markets, and cottage food production operations.
West Virginia’s S 285 Act 3 authorizes the production and sale of homemade food items under certain circumstances. The law establishes conditions for exemption from licensure, permitting, inspection, packaging, and labeling laws, provides required notices to the consumer, and permits local health departments to inspect reported foodborne illnesses. It also authorizes the Department of Agriculture to provide assistance, consultation, or inspection at the request of a producer.
One of the more interesting laws came from the legislature in Maine. Maine’s H 583 proposes an amendment to the Maine Constitution relating to rights to food and food sovereignty and freedom from hunger; declares that all individuals have a natural, inherent, and unalienable right to food, including the right to acquire, produce, process, prepare, preserve and consume and to barter, trade, and purchase the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health, and well-being. The bill will be subject to a statewide vote if passed by the legislature.
Food donation, a popular topic in 2018, got less attention in 2019. However, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was reviewed in several states.
Hawaii S 390 Act 153 requires the Department of Agriculture to create a dollar-for-dollar matching program for beneficiaries of the federal SNAP who use their benefits to purchase state-grown produce.
Illinois’ H 3343 Act 110 amends the Public Aid Code by requiring the Department of Human Services to establish a Restaurant Meals Program to permit individuals who are elderly, with a disability, and homeless individuals to redeem their SNAP benefits at private establishments.
The Maryland legislature renamed the Food Stamp Program to be the Food Supplement Program, established a Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) within the Food Supplement Program in the Department of Human Services, authorized a certain household eligible to participate in the RMP to purchase certain foods at restaurants using a food supplement benefit (H 838 Act 475).
New Mexico S 84 Act 152 relates to nutritional services for senior citizens, authorizes the growing and use for food service of fruit and vegetable gardens at senior centers.
In New Jersey, the Food Desert Produce Pilot Program (A 4704 Act 91) directs the state Department of Agriculture to establish a food desert produce pilot program.
Legislation related to drinking water led to 413 bills being introduced and 61 being enacted.
The foremost issue related to the funding of water infrastructure. California enacted the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to assist water systems in providing adequate and affordable supplies of water (S 200 Act 120). Connecticut’s budget H 7194 Act 194 has language regarding recommendations to the public drinking water program and clarification concerning the effect to the state water plan.
Illinois H 2650 Act 143 amends the state’s Environmental Protection Act to adopt rules to expand the usage of federally-allowable set-aside programs within the Water Revolving Fund, including programs that provide financial assistance to utilities exploring consolidation for the purpose of improving efficiency, sustainable water management, and equitable water rates.
Indiana enacted the Water Infrastructure Assistance Fund and Program (H 1406 Act 56) which provides that money from the Water Infrastructure Assistance Fund is continuously appropriated. In Maine, the legislature enacted Funding for Drinking Water and Wastewater Act (H 273 Act 423) to allow funds to be used to provide assistance for capital investment in private and commercial wastewater systems. Maryland’s S 585 Act 720 requires the State Board of Waterworks and Waste Systems Operators to set fees to fund the regulation of waterworks, wastewater works, and industrial wastewater works.
Nebraska L 307 provides for transfers between the Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund to the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund, changes the authorized terms of loans. New Hampshire enacted the Drinking and Groundwater Trust Fund Study (S 164 Act 238) which establishes a committee to study unprotected drinking water sources and estimate the costs of protecting such sources. New Jersey A 4748 Act 30 authorizes the State Infrastructure Bank to expend additional sums to make loans for environmental infrastructure projects. New Mexico enacted the Drinking Water System Financing S 43 Act 70.
Puerto Rico enacted SJR 196 to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to provide emergency assistance loans or credit facilities to the Power and Sewer Authorities in response to the challenges caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Texas enacted Drinking Water Protection Laws S 530 Act 519 which increases the civil and administrative penalties assessed or imposed for violations of laws protecting drinking water, public water supplies, and bodies of water.
Virginia enacted two laws related to drinking water financing. S 340 Act 610 requires the Department of Environmental Quality to prioritize cost-effective technologies to reduce nutrient loads of total phosphorus, total nitrogen, or nitrogen containing ammonia. H 1035 Act 183 directs the state when making loans, loan subsidies, or grants for regional water projects in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area to give priority to projects relating to alternatives to the withdrawal of groundwater from the coastal plain aquifer.
Legislatures enacted four bills in three states on swimming pools.
New Jersey enacted A 3772 Act 22 regarding Pool and Spa Service Contractors, which provides that provisions do not apply to a property owner who performs pool and spa building and installation or swimming pool service and repair work on his own property or pool. A 4191 Act 23 exempts certain facilities from regulation even if they have a diving board, water slide or other similar feature.
Texas adopted the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code for the state H 2858 Act 214. West Virginia’s H 2490 Act 213 prevents the state from a review of any repair or modernization of equipment at a public pool facility if such activity does not exceed $25,000 in planned cost.
State legislatures enacted 39 laws addressing wastewater concerns, such as septic systems, reclaimed wastewater, and sewage systems.
Alabama extended its Onsite Wastewater Board (H 111 Act 73). California’s A 1588 Act 760 requires the State Water Resources Control Board to evaluate opportunities to issue a water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity or a wastewater certificate by examination waiver to persons who performed duties while serving in the United States military. The Hawaiian legislature (H 444 Act 202) requires the Department of Health to adopt rules for onsite nonpotable water reuse systems.
Illinois adopted a bill that supports the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (SR 52). Kentucky is reviewing solutions facing the Martin County Water District (SR 82). The Louisiana legislature requested the Department of Environmental Quality to study sewer systems in the state (HCR 25) and the commissioner of conservation to study the necessity of declaring an area of groundwater a concern in the Baton Rouge area (HCR 31). In Montana, the legislature requested an interim study on optional septic drain fields (SJR 3).
The legislature in Maine enacted the Water Resources Planning Committee (H 162 Act 67). New Hampshire enacted H 495 Act 329 the Long Term Seacoast Commission on Drinking Water.
New Jersey authorized local government utilities to impose additional connection fees for new construction of additional service units connected to a sewerage system or a water system (S 1247 Act 74). New York aligns its water-saving performance standards with the WaterSense Program guidelines developed by the U.S. EPA (A 2286 Act 578).
North Carolina H 268 Act 151 disapproves of certain wastewater treatment and dispersal rules adopted by the Commission for Public Health. The bill creates a task force to recommend new wastewater treatment and dispersal rules and creates standards for an onsite wastewater evaluator.
Puerto Rico adopted 10 resolutions regarding wastewater studies. HR 12 directs the House Committee on Integral Development to conduct a study on the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority in the municipalities of Adjuntas, Jayuya, Lares and Utuado. SR 53 orders the Senate to investigate the objectives, results and duration of environmental compliance and regulatory framework imposed by the Board of Directors of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority. HR 130 will investigate the locations of the commercial offices of customer service of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, and HR 147 will study the effect of the air pressure in the service lines regulated by the Authority. The Puerto Rico House will evaluate the feasibility of constructing a sanitary sewer system that connects the residences located in the urbanization Haciendas de Borinquen (HR 525). HR 602, HR 603, HR 625 and HR 627 extends the authority of previously authorized studies on wastewater. SR 662 orders the Senate to investigate the condition of community water systems and the natural water resources after hurricanes Irma and Maria, and their effect on public health.
Rhode Island’s S 398 Act 239 provides that professional engineers who are registered and authorized to practice by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers be deemed to have met the qualifications for a designer's license.
Virginia S 344 Act 511 provides that the state may not adopt federal EPA freshwater ammonia water quality criteria unless it includes a phased implementation program. H 887 Act 830 defines maintenance, provides that the adjustment or replacement of sewer lines, conveyance lines, distribution boxes, or header lines is considered maintenance of an onsite sewage system and does not require a permit. H 888 Act 831 directs the Department of Health to take steps to eliminate evaluation and design services for onsite sewage systems and private wells. H 2322 Act 429 directs the Department of Health to develop a plan for the oversight and enforcement by the department of requirements related to the inspection and pump out of onsite sewage treatment systems that do not require a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit established pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.
Washington enacted S 5503 Act 50 which provides that a local health officer may not deny or condition a permit application related to an on-site sewage system located on a single property and serving a single dwelling unit upon the allowing for the inspection or maintenance of the on-site system.
Several states looked into financial support for on-site septic systems. Illinois amended its Environmental Protection Act (H 2650 Act 143) to expand the use of federally-allowable set-aside programs within the Water Revolving Fund, including programs that provide financial assistance to utilities exploring consolidation with separate utilities for the purpose of improving efficiency, sustainable water management, and equitable water rates. Maine enacted H 273 Act 423 to allow funds to provide assistance for capital investment in private and commercial wastewater systems. Nebraska enacted L 307 to provide for transfers between the Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund to the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund. The Oregon legislature authorized loans from Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund to finance projects to repair or replace failing on-site septic systems with connections to available sewers (S 884 Act 558). Puerto Rico’s SJR 196 Act 16 provides emergency assistance loans or credit disbursements to the Power and Sewer Authorities and authorizes the Electric Power Authority and the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority to receive emergency assistance.
In Maryland, the legislature enacted the Failing On-Site Sewerage Disposal System (H 190 Act 342) which defines the term “failing on-site sewage disposal system.” The state enacted H 417 Act 310, which specifies the content of the procedures the Department of the Environment is required to develop for an owner or operator of certain sewer systems or wastewater treatment plants to provide public notification of a sewer overflow or treatment plant bypass.
Indiana amended its residential onsite sewerage systems to allow for technological advances in wastewater (H 1486 Act 261). North Dakota enacted the Sewage Treatment Study (S 2241 Act 454) Provides a legislative management study relating to regulating the installation, maintenance, testing, and repair of sewage treatment systems.
Virginia H 1608 Act 609 authorizes support for cost-effective technologies to reduce loads of total phosphorus, nitrogen, or nitrogen containing ammonia in order to meet the requirements of regulations associated with the reduction of ammonia.
Several states looked into water use recycling. California enacted A 1180 Act 455 which requires the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt standards for the backflow protection and cross-connection control. Colorado enacted the Reclaimed Domestic Wastewater (H 1200 Act 78) which relates to the treatment process involved in treating reclaimed domestic wastewater for indoor non-potable uses within a building where the general public can access plumbing fixtures that are used to deliver the reclaimed domestic wastewater. The Hawaii legislature also sought requirements for on-site nonpotable water reuse systems (H 444 Act 202). Virginia enacted the Rainwater and Gray Water law (H 192 Act 187) which directs the State Department of Health to adopt regulations regarding the use of gray water and rainwater.
Indoor Air Quality
Legislatures in 29 states enacted 45 bills related to Indoor Air Quality. The main issues relate to vaping, radon and indoor smoke.
Alabama enacted H 41 Act 233 which relates to alternative nicotine products. Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act Electronic Smoking law H 1076 Act 337 adds restrictions to the use of electronic smoking devices indoors. Florida’s S 7012 Act 14 prohibits vaping in an enclosed indoor workplace, revises requirements for customs smoking rooms, and requires the proprietor to implement a policy regarding specified smoking and vaping prohibitions.
In Maine, the legislature prohibited the possession and use of electronic smoking devices on school grounds (A 39 Act 61). Massachusetts’ H 4196 Act 133 suspends the license to sell lottery tickets of any retailer that has their cigar, electronic nicotine delivery system or tobacco license suspended or revoked. Michigan’s S 106 Act 18 prohibits the selling, giving, or furnishing of tobacco products, vapor products, and alternative nicotine products to minors. Nebraska L 149 changes the legal age to buy or use tobacco or electronic nicotine delivery systems or alternative nicotine products. New Hampshire adding vaping to the list of products prohibited to minors (H 511 Act 259). New Mexico H 256 Act 128 amended its Indoor Air Act to include e-cigarettes. New York’s A 481 Act 256 addresses electronic cigarette and liquid nicotine use amongst minors. Oklahoma’s S 33 Act 49 prohibits the use of vapor products at schools.
South Carolina H 3420 Act 25 prohibits minors from entering retail establishments that primarily sell tobacco products or alternative nicotine products. South Dakota’s H 1209 Act 155 defines an electronic smoking device and expands the prohibition of smoking tobacco products to include vapor products. Tennessee S 26 Act 144 limits the places that allows vapor products. Washington raised the legal age to purchase tobacco or vaping products H 1074 Act 15.
California, Virginia and Washington enacted laws regarding smoke alarms. California A 338 Act 299 requires all used manufactured homes to install in each room designed for sleeping a smoke alarm. Virginia’s H 609 Act 41 and S 391 Act 81 establishes a statewide standard for the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties. Washington S 5284 Act 455 provides that the seller of any dwelling unit sold shall provide at least one smoke detection device in the unit.
Several states addressed radon in 2019. Connecticut’s H 7269 Act 19 funds a program to reduce health and safety hazards in residential dwellings, including lead, radon and other contaminants through removal and remediation. Indiana enacted the Radon in Schools bill (S 632 Act 21) which requires the state Department of Health to distribute a manual of best practices for managing indoor air quality at schools, including recommendations for radon testing, to the legislative council, the Department of Education, and the facilities manager and superintendent of each school. Kentucky’s H 420 Act 159 updates requirements for radon certifications.
In Maine, the legislature enacted the Public Schools and Radon Act (H 802 Act 172) which requires schools to test schools for radon in compliance with the U.S. EPA's recommended testing standards for schools. H 1101 Act 391 amends the state building code regarding the Radon Control Options for the design and construction of new low-rise residential buildings.
Nebraska adopted the Radon Resistant New Construction Requirements bill L 130. New Jersey enacted A 3703 Act 125 and A 3704 Act 99 requiring training for mechanical ventilation for radon mitigation. New York extended the radon task force’s reporting date (S 5070 Act 225).
Virginia enacted H 1534 Act 598 which directs the state to review the certification requirements for individuals performing radon testing and determine the benefits of any additional oversight, and H 1885 Act 279 directs the Department of Health to develop programs to educate the public about radon, sources of radon, potential adverse health impacts of radon exposure, and options for testing and mitigating of radon.
Colorado enacted the Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act H 1170 Act 229 which defines mold in housing. South Carolina established the Mold Abatement and Remediation Study Committee S 3127 Act 112.
Arkansas S 667 Act 947 amends its Clean Indoor Air Act to exempt smoking areas on the gaming floor of casinos. Pennsylvania’s S 473 provides for the offense of the sale and use of tobacco in schools. Puerto Rico S 147 Act 69 prohibits smoking in motor vehicles that have passengers under 18. Virginia S 149 Act 799 authorizes any locality, by ordinance, to designate reasonable no-smoking areas within an outdoor amphitheater or concert venue owned by that locality. H 2138 Act 6 relates to prohibited inhalants or other noxious chemical substances, adds fluorinated hydrocarbons or vapors to the list of prohibited drugs.
Fifteen bills were enacted in 12 states and Puerto Rico regarding pesticides and environmental health.
The California legislature enacted Pest Control: Mosquito Abatement A 320 Act 422, which created the California Mosquito Surveillance and Research Program, administered by the University of California. The law requires the university to maintain an interactive internet website for dissemination of data on mosquito-borne virus and surveillance control.
Hawaii H 297 Act 106 directs the Department of Agriculture to review the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito with Wolbachia bacteria and place it on the appropriate animal import list. Texas enacted the Mosquito Control Waiver S 113 Act 344 authorizing the application of pesticides for mosquito control by municipal or county employees in an emergency. Utah’s H 72 Act 40 addresses the entity that appoints members to a mosquito abatement board of trustees.
Colorado expanded its agricultural chemical management program to protect surface and sub-surface waters S 186 Act 422. Colorado also enacted H 1328 Act 426 concerning bed bugs by establishing duties for landlords and tenants regarding the presence of bed bugs and requires a tenant to promptly notify the tenant's landlord when the tenant suspects that their dwelling unit contains bed bugs.
Maine enacted the Pesticide Safety Education Program S 393 Act 243 which awards an annual grant to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for the development and revision of training manuals for pesticide applicator certification, licensing, and recertification.
Montana’s H 221 Act 349 provides that farm pesticide applicator licensing examination and recertification requirements may be fulfilled online. Nebraska’s Pesticide Act L 320 updates federal references and revises the duties of the Department of Agriculture regarding pesticides.
Nevada’s A 205 Act 317 requires the establishment of an integrated pest management policy for controlling pests and weeds on the property of a school district. Oregon’s H 2058 Act 084 eliminates the reexamination administration fee for pesticide applicators and pesticide consultants.
Puerto Rico SR 281 directs the Senate Health Committee to study the effect glyphosate has on the public’s health.
Texas’ H 191 Act 1025 provides that money in the pesticide fund must be appropriated only for pesticide waste and pesticide container collection activities. Vermont’s H 205 Act 35 requires the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets to register as a restricted use pesticide any neonicotinoid pesticide labeled as approved for outdoor use that is distributed, sold, or offered for sale in the state.
The legislature in Washington created two workgroups on pesticides. S 5550 Act 327 establishes the Pesticide Application Safety Committee and S 5597 Act 355 creates a workgroup on aerial pesticide applications in forestlands to review all existing best management practices.
Toxics and Chemicals
State legislatures reviewed legislation related to several concerns regarding toxics or chemicals. Lead, PFAS, sunscreen, and Ethylene Oxide.
Regarding asbestos, Montana revised its Superfund laws related to the Libby Asbestos site (H 30 Ch. 76). New Jersey A 4416 Act 115 prohibits the sale or distribution of products containing asbestos.
California prohibited the sale or distribution of specified chemicals for use in a waste holding tank of a recreational vehicle (S 317 Act 367). Illinois S 1392 Act 330 studies the threat of microplastics to human health and the environment. S 1852 Act 22 provides that in the event of an ethylene oxide leak, a facility must notify all affected property owners and local governments. Louisiana’s S 22 Act 176 recovers damages caused by an ethylene dichloride spill in the Calcasieu River into Lake Charles.
In Maine, the legislature enacted S 296 Act 47 which regards the elimination of highly toxic and hazardous chemicals in the workplace. New Hampshire S 85 Act 229 reestablishes the commission to study environmentally triggered chronic illness. Washington’s S 5135 Act 292 requires manufacturers of children and consumer products containing a state-identified priority chemical to provide notice to the state. S 5993 Act 422 amends the financial structure of the Model Toxics Control Program.
Wyoming’s H 9 Act 117 relates to standards for antifreeze and petroleum products.
Lead hazards, replacements of lead water services lines, and the screening of children with elevated blood lead levels were all addressed by state legislatures in 2019. California enacted four bills related to lead hazards. A 35 Act 710 requires the Department of Public Health to consider a report from a laboratory of an employee's blood lead level at or above 20 micrograms per deciliter to be injurious to the health of the employee. S 78 Act 38 allows the state to share blood lead data for children enrolled in Medicaid. A 206 Act 171 makes a property owner who participates in a program to abate lead-based paint as a result of a judgment in any public nuisance immune from liability in any lawsuit seeking to recover any cost associated with that abatement program. A 142 Act 860 relates to lead-acid batteries. The appropriations bill in the state (A 72 Act 1) provides $5 million to test and remediate lead in drinking water at licensed daycare centers.
Maine’s S 40 Act 158 requires schools to test their drinking water for lead, as does Maryland H 1253 Act 557, and Vermont’s S 40 Act 66. Louisiana created a task force on lead-free water (SCR 51). Maine also enacted H 21 Act 100 which requires a notice of any lead abatement orders and when the abatement is complete.
S 336 Act 479 makes several changes to the state’s Lead Poisoning Control Act. The law changes the year for the state's goal to eradicate childhood lead poisoning, requires all state children be tested for unsafe exposure to lead at one and two years of age, increases the lead poisoning prevention fee per gallon of paint, and allows up to half of the fee to be used for mandated dwelling inspections. H 731 Act 201 amends the reference level of blood lead.
Louisiana’s HR 233 studies the feasibility of testing child-occupied facilities for lead and mercury. Maryland’s H 1233 Act 341 also amends the reference level for blood lead. The law also requires the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations for conducting environmental investigations.
New Jersey enacted a law to issue bonds to replace lead-contaminated water service lines (A 4120 Act 114). SR 133 urges Suez North America to aggressively replace its lead service lines in the state.
California’s S 647 Act 379 and New York’s S 4046 Act 671 regulates jewelry containing lead. Pennsylvania recognized the week of Oct. 20-26, as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (HR 581).
Vermont’s H 218 Act 4 clarifies the definition of "target housing" and prohibits unsafe work practices in housing or child care facilities.
Maine and New York enacted bills related to mercury. Maine’s H 1194 Act 286 amends the state’s Mercury Lamp Law regarding the recycling of mercury. New York enacted A 2501 Act 647 to reduce the amount of mercury in mercury-added lamps and S 6145 Act 565 eliminates the installation or covering of mercury-containing flooring in elementary and secondary schools.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
One of the foremost issues legislatures addressed in2019 regarded per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals. Over 40 bills were introduced and 17 enacted regarding these chemicals.
Alaska included language on PFAS in its budget (S 19 Act 3). The legislature requested the Department of Environmental Conservation collect data on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to estimate the cost of cleanup and to develop a long-term plan of action. Michigan’s Human Service Budget (S 139 Act 67) allocates grants to local public health departments to support PFAS response and emerging public health threat activities. Washington’s budget (H 1102 Act 413) includes funds for the Department of Ecology to characterize PFAS chemicals in areas that impact the Issaquah valley aquifer. The biennium appropriation also identifies PFAS contamination in water (H 1109 Act 415).
Colorado (H 1279 Act 427) requires the Department of Public Health and Environment to determine the amount of PFAS foam currently held, used and disposed of by fire departments. Arizona S 1526 Act 222, Kentucky S 104 Act 47, Minnesota H 359 Act 47 and New Hampshire S 257 Act 337 prohibit firefighting foam that contains PFAS chemicals from being used for firefighting training or testing.
California A 756 Act 162 authorizes a public water system to monitor for perfluoroalkyl substances and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Maine H 1043 Act 277 seeks to use biomonitoring to test for PFAS from food packaging in humans. New Hampshire prohibits the sale of certain furniture and carpeting with flame retardant chemicals (S 193 Act 336). H 737 Act 335 investigates the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of PFAS in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield.
North Carolina’s S 433 Act 241 has the state conduct an analysis for PFAS, including GenX, at all public water supply surface water intakes to establish a water quality baseline for all sampling sites.
Pennsylvania H 1410 revises the guidelines for the Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Remediation Program. Rhode Island H 5119 Act 90 increases the maximum amount of parts per million of nonpolymeric organohalogen flame retardant chemicals contained in residential upholstered bedding and furniture.
Vermont S 49 Act 21 adopts a maximum contaminant level for polyfluoroalkyl substances under the Agency of Natural Resources’ Water Supply Rule, requires the Secretary of Natural Resources to amend the Quality Standards to include criteria or effluent limitations for PFAS substances, requires landfills to treat leachate for PFAS substances prior to delivery to a wastewater treatment facility or other facilities where the leachate would be discharged to the waters of the state.
Allowing students to use sunscreen at schools and camps remains a concern. Five states and the Virgin Islands enacted legislation permitting students to have and use sunscreen.
Arkansas H 1167 Act 247, Connecticut S 922 Act 60, Maine S 119 Act 32, and Nevada S 159 Act 99 all permit the use of sunscreens at schools. The Virgin Island’s B 43 ban on the sale and distribution of topical sunscreen products containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Alabama’s SJR 70 recognizes May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Laboratories and Environmental Health
Six states enacted legislation regarding their environmental health lab, the foremost issue being biomonitoring programs.
California A 35 Act 710 requires the State Department of Public Health to consider reports from a laboratory of an employee's blood lead level at or above 20 micrograms per deciliter to be injurious to their health.
Massachusetts’ Budget Bill H 4000 Act 41 funded the state’s biomonitoring program. Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection bill S 605 Act 315 cites the state labs efforts regarding biomonitoring. H 1043 Act 277 also seeks to use biomonitoring to test for PFAS in food packaging. Minnesota H 13a Act 12 and S 7a Act 4 authorized perfluorochemical biomonitoring in eastern metropolitan communities. Vermont’s S 55 Act 75 evaluates chemical inventories and identifies potential risks through the use of biomonitoring.
New York’s Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products S 501 Act 756 requires the state lab to provide a list of chemicals of concern.