Quirk Renews Efforts on Accurate and Humane Hazardous Waste Identification

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Hazardous waste must be disposed of properly to protect public health and the environment. Today, Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) introduced AB 733, which will enable 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,” said Assemblymember Quirk.

The hazardous waste test currently used in California, 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 we should as hazardous waste,” continued Assemblymember Quirk.

“Last year, we made history in passing monumental legislation that banned the sales of any cosmetic tested on animals anywhere in the world in the State of California. It is time the state joined business industry leaders and advocates in adopting its own cruelty-free pledge and eliminate this barbaric and outdated test on live fish replacing it with an internationally accepted humane alternative,” said Judie Mancuso, President of Social Compassion in Legislation, co-sponsor of the bill with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

AB 733 authorizes the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to identify humane alternatives to the “minnow test.”

“There are more advanced and humane approaches available to protect our waterways from hazardous waste,” said Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., Vice President Research Policy for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “and we are proud to work with Assembly member Quirk to push DTSC to update its regulations to replace live fish testing with more modern approaches.”

“My work on this issue, in partnership with Social Compassion in Legislation and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, was stalled by Governor Brown’s veto last year. However, I vowed to continue to fight for policies that fortify California’s environmental safety. By introducing AB 733 today, I keep that promise,” concluded Assemblymember Quirk.