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CLSA Wire

Los Angeles Moves Full Steam Ahead With Takeback Proposal
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Nov. 10, 2015

Over the summer, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors began to research the drug takeback ordinances in the San Francisco Bay Area in order to propose one for Los Angeles. A staff Working Group was formed and began holding a series of stakeholder meetings throughout September and October. The initial meetings with the County allowed CLSA and our industry association partners to provide feedback on the supposed overall goals the County wished to seek and to convey concerns about the effectiveness of takeback proposals.

By the third ‘technical advisory’ stakeholder meeting in mid-October, it was clear that the County staff were systematically disregarding input from industry and were instead moving aggressively towards a mandated, manufacturers-focused “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) framework.

In November, the Working Group sent out draft language for the ordinance. Their version mirrors the Bay Area ordinances while containing two notable additions: 1) Los Angeles County programs would also include sharps, and 2) the mandated stewardship programs would potentially need to incentivize/compensate retailers in order to gain their participation. The latter addition is the County’s unique way to move beyond the issue of any mandates on retailers and instead puts the onus further on manufacturer-mandated stewardship programs.

Two more stakeholder meetings will occur on Nov. 13 with the County Working Group. A fourth and final internal ‘technical advisory’ stakeholder meeting to discuss the new draft language will be held in the morning. Later that day a forum in the Board of Supervisors Chambers will be open for three hours of public comment. The County has contracted with an environmental consulting firm (www.environmentalproblemsolving.com) to ‘outreach to the public’ and gather community speakers for the takeback plans. For those not able to attend in person, the Country is encouraging them to register for a webinar of the public forum via: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/pharma.htm. Outside of the meetings, any further comments are also being collected by the County through Nov. 30 via EPR@lacounty.gov or by calling 626-458-3550.

CLSA has taken the lead in convening our partner associations, companies, and member stakeholders for strategy discussions and sharing of information. Much of these coordinated conference calls and in-person sessions are focused on preparing for the battle at the Board of Supervisors in early Feb. 2016. If you would like to participate in these discussions, or you have any questions, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Associate Director of Government Relations (risbell@califesciences.org).