Sept 12 - Tentative Ruling: Marin May Proceed with Bag Ban

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In a tentative ruling, Superior Court Judge Lynn Duryee has affirmed Marin County's Ban of Single Use Plastic Grocery Bags.

The tentative ruling released this afternoon represents a near certain victory for Marin County and Californians Against Waste in their defense of a local ordinance banning single use grocery bags in the county. The ordinance was challenged by an association financed by plastic bag makers. Superior Court Judge Lynn Duryee wrote,

"In reviewing the County’s legislative actions, the court finds no abuse of discretion."

Noting the environmental impact of plastic bags, lack of its recycling market, and the solid waste impacts of plastic bags to the County, she called the County’s ordinance "a reasonable legislative and regulatory choice" to protect the environment and

"concluded that the ordinance is exempt pursuant to Guidelines sections 15307 and 15308."

Please note that this ruling is tentative, and the final ruling won’t be issued until after the oral argument tomorrow morning, but CAW is pleased and optimistic to see such a positive tentative ruling. See the full text of the tentative ruling here.

The County passed a plastic bag ban with a five cent minimum price requirement last January using two CEQA exemptions. STPBC, which has attempted to delay plastic bag ordinances with litigation threats unless a jurisdiction conducts an environmental impact report, sued the County shortly afterwards. Find out more about the case and CAW's involvement here. Earlier this summer, STPBC lost another bag-related case when the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the City of Manhattan Beach which passed a bag ordinance in 2008.

To date, 13 local governments in our state have passed local ordinances. Stay tuned on our website, Facebook, or Twitter for updates on the final ruling for Marin County, and for the results of Santa Cruz County’s bag hearing (also set for tomorrow).