The city of Half Moon Bay is signing on to support state legislation focused on addressing aspects of climate change and sustainability.

Earlier this year, City Council adopted its 2019 legislative platform, which highlighted issues that aligned with its stated community goals for the next year. 

At the June 4 meeting, the council agreed to send letters of support to Sacramento for specific laws. 

Reducing plastic waste and creating ways to deal with a national recycling crisis created by China’s new policy that severely limits imports of plastic waste is one focus. Two bills, one in the Assembly, AB 1080, and one in the state Senate, SB 54, ask the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to adopt regulations requiring manufacturers to reduce and recycle 75 percent of single-use packaging and products sold or distributed in California by 2030. 

SB 54 comes from Southern California Sen. Ben Allen. AB 1080 is authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego. Together, they are called the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. The legislation comes on the heels of laws passed last year also aimed at reducing single-use plastics, such as requiring businesses to only provide plastic straws on request. 

“The city of Half Moon Bay is committed to reducing the amount of solid waste that fills our landfills,” writes the letter of support signed by City Manager Bob Nisbet. 

Nisbet notes the Ox Mountain Sanitary Landfill on the coast is expected to stop operations in 2034, as only 22,180,000 cubic yards of the 60,500,000 maximum permitted capacity remains. 

“This local challenge will significantly affect the future of Half Moon Bay,” Nisbet wrote. 

The bills also require single-use plastics to be recyclable or compostable by 2030. 

Tackling the threat of sea level rise, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin introduced Assembly Bill 825, which seeks to create an agency in San Mateo County to deal with flooding, coastal erosion and large-scale stormwater infrastructure improvements. 

A report from March 2018 shows that even moderate sea level rise would result in the flooding of $34 billion in property on the Bayshore and Coastside north of Half Moon Bay. Additionally, the county’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment determined about $930 million in assessed property value is at risk for erosion on the Coastside.

The city’s letter of support for AB 825 states the city wants to help San Mateo County prepare for “the inevitability of climate change in the near future and protect our most vulnerable populations and properties.”

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