New Laws in California

Climatewire reports that that the governor has signed several new environmental laws:

•A.B. 920, which expands the state’s net-metering program to require all investor-owned and publicly owned utilities to purchase surplus energy back from customers that generate their own wind and solar power, up to 2.5 MW per utility. The CPUC will set the rate. Competing bills would have raised the cap to 5 MW.

•A.B. 758, which requires the California Energy Commission to write rules requiring existing homes and nonresidential buildings to reduce their emissions. It includes funding for energy assessments, efficiency upgrades, public outreach and education.

•S.B. 104, which adds nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) to the list of greenhouse gases regulated by the state’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act. It authorizes the state Air Resources Board to limit its use in the production of flat-screen televisions, solar panels and microprocessors.

•A.B. 1366, which gives local water agencies authority to manage the discharge of in-home water softeners that raise the salt content of surface and groundwater. The bill applies to the South Coast, the Central Coast, the San Joaquin Valley, Tulare Lake and the lower half of the Sacramento Valley.

•S.B. 757, which prohibits the sale and installation of lead wheel weights in California. The European Union already bans lead wheel weights, which balance wheels on cars and trucks but also cause lead pollution when they fall off vehicles.