Last week the Cupertino City Council voted to join a regional bag ban effort headed by San Mateo County.
The County is working on an environmental impact report for a single-use bag ban that could go into effect in unincorporated areas by January of next year. According to the Cupertino Patch, the document would cost $25,000 to complete.
To help expedite the process for other local governments wanting to pass their own ordinance, the County has offered to include incorporated cities in either San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in the study, at no cost or obligation to adopt a similar ordinance.
However, should the jurisdictions covered under the County’s document decide to adopt a bag ban in the future, they would not have to spend the time or money on an EIR.
Read more about the Cupertino meeting here.
The Santa Clara City Council is scheduled to discuss joining the County’s EIR this Tuesday at 7pm in the Council Chambers (1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara, CA). If you would like to attend in support, check out the agenda, which will soon be posted online.
It should be noted that other jurisdictions have successfully passed their ordinances without the added cost of an EIR—using instead Negative Declarations or Exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In fact, the last five bag bans adopted in the state used either a Negative Declaration (Millbrae, Laguna Beach, Dana Point), or a Categorical Exemption (San Francisco, Carpinteria).
Moreover, last summer the California Supreme Court ruled that the City of Manhattan Beach did not require an EIR before it adopted its Negative Declaration and plastic bag ban. The Marin County Superior Court similarly ruled in favor of Marin County’s bag ban and use of exemptions instead of an EIR.
See the full list of local bag bans on our website.