SACRAMENTO, CA — Coatings-industry representatives are voicing opposition to a California proposal to impose a fee on architectural paint manufacturers to help pay for the cost of management of leftover (post-consumer) paint.

The fee proposal is being suggested by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, which is seeking legislation that would initially impose a 15¢/gal fee for a three-year period, followed by a 25% increase in the fee per year for at least 20 years. The NPCA and the California Paint Council oppose this “advance disposal fee,” saying the fee would unfairly place a “significant and displaced economic burden” on industry.

In testimony at a Waste Management Board meeting, California Paint Council representatives said the disposal-fee proposal erroneously treats paint as a “waste” rather than a product that is designed to be completely used and not discarded. The paint council also said the fee would add to the high cost of manufacturing in California, where paint producers already pay a fee to fund childhood lead poisoning prevention programs and also must meet demanding VOC-content limits.

The Waste Management Board says additional funding is needed to meet growing costs and rising volumes of paint being collected by household hazardous waste programs. The agency says the situation is causing stockpiling of collected paint, reduced numbers of collection events, and cutbacks in the hours and days of operation at permanent collection sites.

The paint council is urging the Waste Management Board to work with industry and other government agencies in an educational campaign to reduce the amounts of leftover paint. The paint council also proposed that California remove latex paint from the state’s listing of hazardous wastes, as the last hazardous ingredients — mercurial biocides — have not been used in latex paints since 1990. In addition, the U.S. EPA, along with most states, does not consider latex paint to be hazardous. Such an action would simplify the handling of leftover latex paint, industry representatives say.

More information on the Waste Management Board proposal and the industry’s response is available at the NPCA website at