Drug Takeback Spreads Throughout Bay Area Counties

May 21, 2015

Bay Area county governments continue to pursue legislation regarding the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR). These county ordinances require drug manufacturers to implement and fund programs for collecting and disposing of leftover drugs not used by consumers. These Bay Area proposals are part of a coordinated network of EPR proponents working together to push template legislation from county to county. They are working with statewide organizations, such as the California Product Stewardship Council, Clean Water Action, and senior groups and their often-stated end goal is to create enough momentum to force a statewide solution from Sacramento.

CLSA is actively engaged through testimony, meetings with elected officials and staff, background materials, and other ongoing measures to educate these local governments on the adverse effects of take-back proposals. Nevertheless, counties are easily and quickly passing these proposals. The City and County of San Francisco unanimously passed such legislation in March, and was signed by the mayor. The County of San Mateo unanimously passed it in April. The County of Santa Clara unanimously passed a preliminary reading in May with final adoption expected in June. With the blessing of the Board of Supervisors, the County of Marin has formed a Workgroup that is meeting this month to draft legislation for quick passage. Other Bay Area Counties are expected to follow suit within the year. Further south, the County of Santa Barbara this month began a stakeholder process to draft legislation. The Wall Street Journal published a detailed editorial encouraging U.S. Supreme Court review of Alameda County’s ordinance in order to help stave off these growing local developments. For more information on these local government take back activities, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Associate Director of Government Relations (