The law’s intent was to protect campground owners, their guests and Californians at large from potential hazardous effects from products containing bronopol, dowicil, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, paraformadelhyde and paradichlorobenzene.
Debbie Sipe, CalARVC director, told RVBUSINESS.com that due to the large amount of chemical-related bills presented to the California legislature in recent years, the governor created the Green Chemistry Initiative. The initiative is a way to better address these bills through scientific research done by the Department of Toxics and Substance Control (DTSC).
The DTSC previously told CalARVC it would be taking on more broadly affected chemicals first before they addressed AB 1824, since it concerned a smaller niche market.
Sipe said CalARVC knew this was a risk when it submitted the bill for consideration, but still felt hopeful after it passed through all other levels of legislation with huge bipartisan support and only three nay votes.
“The governor vetoed it because he wants all of this to go through the Green Chemistry Initiative,” Sipe said. “We had lobbied the governor’s office and had letters to his office and we were hoping we could get through because we are a smaller niche.”
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thetford Corp., a manufacturer of holding tank chemicals for both the marine and RV markets, Dometic Corp., Elkhart, Ind., a Thetford competitor, and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) opposed the bill – essentially urging the state of California to back up their reasons with science that proves these chemicals are fouling up septic systems.
In response to the veto, Kevin Phillips, Thetford’s vice president of sales and marketing, stated, “RVIA and other concerned industry organizations rallied together and helped to provide education and understanding regarding this bill. Without them, this veto, which preserves consumer choice in RV deodorants, may not have been achieved.”
CalARVC will hold a meeting to discuss its next steps and will be asking manufacturing companies to do their best to push and promote organic-based products.
“We failed in our efforts, but we hope the manufacturers will back the campground industry and help support us,” Sipe said.
CalARVC also plans to submit a list of green-based products as the recommended guide for consumers and will be adding an educational section to its website to educate people about environmentally-friendly products.