SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of January 20, 2014
Title: An act relating to reducing polychlorinated biphenyls in Washington state.
Brief Description: Reducing polychlorinated biphenyls in Washington state.
Sponsors: Senators Billig, Ericksen, McCoy and Rolfes.
Committee Activity: Energy, Environment & Telecommunications: 1/21/14.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Staff: Jan Odano (786-7486)
Background: Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), are man-made chemicals that were manufactured from 1929 until 1979. Because of their chemical stability, low flammability, and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications such as insulating electrical equipment, hydraulic equipment, plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products, and in pigments and dyes.
However, their chemical stability also makes PCBs long-lasting in the environment. According to the the United States Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs are a probable human carcinogen and may have serious non-cancer health impacts to the immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems, as well as other health effects. There are human health and environmental concerns from the accumulation of PCBs in the environment and human exposures.
Although the manufacture, processing, and distribution of PCBs was banned in 1979, the use of PCBs is still allowed under certain circumstances where it is demonstrated that there is no unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. Authorized uses include certain totally enclosed electric equipment and natural gas systems. PCBs are also found in consumer products as the result of unintentional contamination during the manufacturing process.
Summary of Bill: The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) must establish a purchasing and procurement policy that provides a preference for products that do not contain PCBs. Unless it is not technically feasible or cost effective, no state agency may purchase products containing PCBs above the practical quantification limit.
DES is not required to test every product purchased. DES may accept from suppliers, individuals, organizations, businesses, and manufacturers accredited laboratory or testing facility results documenting product PCB levels. In addition, DES may request from suppliers documented product PCB information.
Practical quantification limit is defined to mean the lowest concentration that can be reliably measured within specified precision, accuracy, representativeness, completeness, and comparability during routine laboratory operating conditions.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 18, 2014.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.