After more than five years of effort promoting a model solution for post-consumer paint management, in July NPCA/FSCT was instrumental in passing the first-ever paint product stewardship law in the United States in the state of Oregon. NPCA/FSCT has created a new 501(c)(3) organization — "PaintCare" — to run the program, which will pilot an industry-lead end-of-life management program for post-consumer paint. This pilot program addresses the need for industry to combat state by state and local approaches to the issue of post-consumer paint; particularly "Extended Producer Responsibility" approaches being pursued by some governments, which would require producers to pay for expensive government-run programs. Product Care — an established product-stewardship organization running similar programs for paint in Canada — has agreed to partner with PaintCare to design the program for a start date of April 1, 2010, and to implement the program over the next four years.
In Orgeon, House Bill 3037 "providing for the development and implementation of an architectural paint stewardship pilot program" (referred to here as "the Act"), was signed into law by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski on July 23, 2009. The legislation creates the first-ever paint-stewardship program in the United States, and enables the industry to implement the program, providing for a level playing field among manufacturers and retailers, a sustainable financing system, and an antitrust exemption for activities pursuant to the program — most notably the financing system. The Act states that "it is in the best interest of [Oregon] for architectural paint manufacturers to finance and manage an environmentally sound, cost-effective architectural paint stewardship pilot program, undertaking responsibility for the development and implementation of strategies to reduce the generation of post-consumer architectural paint, promote the reuse of post-consumer architectural paint, and collect, transport and process post-consumer architectural paint for end-of-product-life management, including reuse, recycling, energy recovery and disposal"
On Oct. 21, 2009, PaintCare was officially incorporated in the state of Delaware. PaintCare will be the stewardship organization that is defined in the Act as "a corporation, nonprofit organization or other legal entity created by a producer or group of producers to implement the architectural paint stewardship pilot program." NPCA/FSCT is the sole owner of PaintCare, which will have a Board of representatives from architectural paint companies who will be directing the program. In addition, members of NPCA/FSCT's Pacific Northwest Paint Council, who were instrumental in aiding passage of the legislation, will serve as an advisory council to the new organization. Product Care, which has been running similar programs in Canada for over 10 years, has agreed to partner with PaintCare for on-the-ground implementation of the program. Product Care has significant experience and expertise managing paint stewardship programs throughout Canada and is familiar to NPCA/FSCT members doing business there.
PaintCare and Product Care are currently working on formulating a budget for the program, which will lead to the paint stewardship assessment amount or "PaintCare Recovery Fee" that will fund the program. The architectural paint stewardship assessment is defined under the Act as "the amount added to the purchase price of architectural paint sold in [Oregon] necessary to cover the cost of collecting, transporting and processing the post-consumer architectural paint managed through a statewide architectural paint stewardship pilot program." This assessment will be paid to PaintCare by producers for all architectural paint sold in Oregon. Under the Act, it must be added to the wholesale price of paint to all distributors and retailers and included in the final purchase price of paint to all Oregon consumers. The assessment can not be called a recycling fee, so the program is recommending PaintCare Recovery Fee. The architectural paint subject to the program is defined under the Act as "interior and exterior architectural coatings sold in containers of five gallons or less," but "does not mean industrial, original equipment, or specialty coatings.
Several factors need to be determined before the PaintCare Recovery Fee can be determined. First of all, collection infrastructure must be identified. As such, Product Care is reaching out to current government collection sites to determine their interest. Additionally, retail partners are being sought, which will be beneficial for the program not only from an economic standpoint, but from a service standpoint as well when looking to fill in gaps in the current infrastructure. Secondly, a request for proposals was dispatched in September for transportation, processing and disposal providers. PaintCare received eight proposals, and Product Care is in the process of analyzing them for environmental sufficiency and economic viability. And finally, local advertising and marketing firms were interviewed and proposals evaluated in order to determine the best strategy and costs for education and outreach services.
While the legislative deadline for the program is not until July 1, 2010, the program is currently being slated for an April 1, 2010, start date in a good faith effort to bring the program to the state earlier and in order to address political pressure from other states interested in paint product stewardship. A plan for the program, including the budget and PaintCare Recovery Fee, must be approved by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). PaintCare and Product Care are currently drafting this program plan and intend on submitting it by the end of the year in order to give the DEQ ample time to review, request revisions if necessary, and approve before the April 1, 2010, start date. The program plan and final PaintCare Recovery Fee will be approved by the PaintCare Board before submission to the DEQ.