SSB 6086

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.

C 135 L 14

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Reducing PCBs in products purchased by agencies.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Telecommunications (originally sponsored by Senators Billig, Ericksen, McCoy and Rolfes).

Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Telecommunications

House Committee on Environment

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 and hydraulic equipment; plasticizers in paints, plastics, and rubber products; and in pigments and dyes.

However, chemical stability also makes PCBs long-lasting in the environment. According to 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.

Although the manufacture, processing, and distribution of PCBs were 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: The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) must establish a purchasing and procurement policy that provides a preference for products and products in packaging that do not contain PCBs. Unless it is not technically feasible or cost effective, no state agency may purchase products or products in packaging 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 or product packaging PCB levels. In addition, DES may request from suppliers documented product and product packaging 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.

The requirement that products or product packaging must not contain PCBs does not apply to existing contracts, or stock that has been ordered or is in the possession of an agency as of the effective date of the act.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


June 12, 2014