Quirk Effort for Accurate and Humane Hazardous Waste Identification is Stalled with Veto

Thursday, September 27, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Hazardous waste must be disposed of properly to protect public health and the environment. However, today Governor Brown vetoed AB 2474, by Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s (D-Hayward), which would have enabled California to identify this waste more humanely and accurately. 


“As Chair of the Assembly Committee of Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, I work every day to protect Californians and California’s environment from toxic pollution. Making sure hazardous waste is accurately identified and disposed of is crucial. However, the test currently used in California to determine if a product is hazardous requires the use of animals. This puts companies who wish to be ‘cruelty free’ in a precarious situation,” explained Assemblymember Quirk.


The hazardous waste test, commonly known as the “minnow test” essentially involves adding waste to a fish tank and seeing if the fish die. Companies committed to cruelty-free practices forgo the test and play it safe by treating all their waste as hazardous. “This is costly to business and means that California may be treating more waste than wQuirk Effort for Accurate and Humane Hazardous Waste Identification is Stalled with Vetoe should as hazardous waste,” said Assemblymember Quirk.


AB 2474 would have authorized the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to evaluate and adopt promising humane alternatives to the “minnow test.”


"We are disappointed that the Governor chose to keep California as the last remaining state in the country which still unnecessarily requires the torture of thousands of fish to determine hazardous waste classification," said Judie Mancuso, president and founder of Social Compassion in Legislation, a co-sponsor of the bill.


“By making humane hazardous waste tests available explained companies would have been able meet their customer’s demands regarding animal testing while protecting the environment and avoiding the steep costs associated with hazardous waste disposal,” said Assemblymember Quirk. “Though disappointed with the outcome, I am proud that AB 2474 brought together groups as diverse as Cal Chamber and PETA, and I will continue fighting for policies that fortify California’s environmental safety.”