Plastic Water Bottle Ban in South Lake Tahoe on City Council’s Agenda | South of Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The South Lake Tahoe City Council will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, September 20 at 5:30 p.m. For a full agenda in English and Spanish, and to find out how to participate, visit HERE.

Council will hear an item to amend the current regulations on polystyrene and plastic food packaging. What is being proposed is a ban on municipal and commercial use of single-use plastic water bottles under one gallon that will be phased in over the next two years. Entities around the world are already banning single-use bottles or considering new regulations. While the proposed changes to South Lake Tahoe’s ordinance only regulate bottled water, other places are also considering the sale of sodas.

If approved, the municipal use ban will take effect on April 22 (Earth Day), 2023, and the commercial ban will take effect one year later on April 22, 2024.

Proposed ordinance also removes exceptions for styrofoam and polystyrene raw food packaging, makes city state law enforcement agency
the Single-Use Food Accessories and Condiments Act, and makes other amendments for clarity and consistency with state laws that came into effect after the city’s initial ordinance was passed in 2018.

If approved, the order would read as follows:

4,175,030 Prohibition of polystyrene.
A. No food supplier shall sell or otherwise supply foods prepared in single-use EPS catering utensils.
B. No supplier shall sell or otherwise supply EPS catering tableware or expanded polystyrene products.
C. No person shall distribute EPS catering items or expanded polystyrene products at any City facility or City-affiliated event, and all City concessionaires, lessees, licensees and permittees for use of the facilities , special events and temporary activities must comply with this section. No city funds shall be used to purchase expanded polystyrene products.
D. Products made from expanded polystyrene that are fully encapsulated or covered with a more durable material are exempt from the provisions of this section. Examples include surfboards, life jackets, and craft supplies that are fully encapsulated or encased in a more durable material, and coolers encased in hard plastic.
4,175,040 Ban on single-use plastic tableware for catering.
No food supplier shall sell or otherwise provide single-use plastic catering items except upon request.
4,175,050 Ban on single-use plastic water bottles.
A. Effective April 22, 2023, no one shall distribute single-use plastic water bottles at any City facility or City-affiliated event, and all City dealers, tenants, licensees, and permittees for use of facilities, special events and temporary activities must comply with this section. No city funds should be used to purchase single-use plastic water bottles.
B. Effective April 22, 2024, no vendor may sell single-use plastic water bottles in the City of South Lake Tahoe.
C. The provisions of this section do not apply to emergencies or other City situations where the City Manager deems the use of single-use plastic water bottles necessary to protect health. , the safety and welfare of the public, and no reasonable alternative would serve the same purpose, including the lack of available drinking water due to a natural disaster.
4,175,060 Application and Violation – Penalty.
A. A violation of any provision of this chapter by any person, food supplier or vendor is subject to the following administrative penalties, which may be appealed in accordance with the procedures of chapter 2.30 of this code.
1. A fine not exceeding $100.00 for a first offence.
2. A fine not exceeding $200.00 for a second violation of this chapter within the year.
3. A fine not exceeding $500.00 for each additional violation of this chapter during the year.
B. In addition to other remedies provided by this chapter or by other law, any violation of this chapter may be redressed by civil action brought by the city attorney, including, but not limited to, proceedings administrative or judicial measures to reduce nuisances, the civil or criminal code, enforcement procedures and injunction proceedings. The remedies provided by
this Chapter are cumulative and in addition to any other remedies available at law or in equity.
C. The city is the authorized enforcement agency for violations of California Public Resources Code Division 30 Part 3, Chapter 5.2 (Single-Use Food Paraphernalia and Condiments). These violations are punishable by a fine of $25 per day of violation not to exceed $300 per year, which may be appealed in accordance with procedures
chapter 2.30 of this code.
4,175,070 Severability.
If any provision of this Chapter, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid or ineffective by a court of competent jurisdiction, or by reason of preventive legislation, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the other provisions of this chapter. The City Council declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each article, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause and expression, regardless of whether one or more of the articles, subsections, subdivisions,
phrases, clauses, sentences or words be declared invalid.
SECTION 2. City Council finds that enactment of the proposed ordinance is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under sections 15061(b)(3) of the lines CEQA guidelines (common sense exemption whereby CEQA does not apply to projects where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the action could have a significant effect on the environment) , 15307 (Actions of Regulatory Agencies for the Protection of Natural Resources) and 15308 (Actions of Regulatory Agencies for the Protection of the Environment) because it is an action undertaken by the City in its
regulatory capacity to protect natural resources and the environment. Passing the proposed ordinance would protect the environment by reducing plastic and polystyrene waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transporting and recycling single-use plastic water bottles.
SECTION 3. The City Clerk is responsible for certifying this Ordinance and causing it to be published as required by law.
ARTICLE 4. This ordinance comes into force on January 1, 2023

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