- California Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 1383 which will establish the country's strictest standards on reducing black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane emissions, as reported by ABC 7 News.
- The law calls for a 40% reduction of methane and hydrofluorocarbon gases — based on 2013 levels — by 2030.
- Methane reductions will be targeted to the dairy industry and landfills. The law sets a goal of 50% reduction in organic waste by 2020 — based on 2014 levels — and a 75% reduction by 2025.
This comes shortly after Brown signed SB 32 which calls for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2030. These new laws solidify California's position as the most ambitious state in the country when it comes to emissions reductions and climate change mitigation.
The state has already set a goal of diverting 75% of waste by 2020, but that number recently dipped below 50%. Setting reduction targets for organics could help get closer to that goal, though participation rates and funding for processing infrastructure are both key factors.
Reducing methane emissions has been touted as an integral part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan due to their high potency. Other states have banned organics from landfills or worked to boost composting efforts and the EPA and USDA have also pushed their goal of halving food waste nationally by 2030. Yet one year into that timeframe, many in the waste industry and other sectors are still working to find their roles in a very complicated process that is driven by more than just government regulations.