New Law Makes Illegal Dumping a Cause for Disciplinary Action by Contractors State License Board

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By Thomas A. T. Ferrari

AB 246 (Quirk), as introduced January 13, 2021, and revised April 8, 2021, repeals and adds section 7110 to the Business and Professions Code relating to contractors. This bill explicitly makes a licensed contractor’s unlawful dumping of construction debris, or a contractor’s willful or deliberate violation of local or state dumping laws, a cause of disciplinary action against the contractor under the Contractors State License law.

Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the sponsor of the bill, as the Board unanimously voted to sponsor this bill at its December 2020 meeting. As noted by CSLB, it will rely on the finding of a local or state agency that a violation occurred as the necessary evidence to take disciplinary action against a licensee. According to the author, there is evidence that unlawful dumping of construction debris by licensed contractors is a problem in California, and it is going unaddressed. The author noted several California cities and counties have reported that discarded construction material is being dumped illegally and have documented instances of CSLB-licensed contractors doing the dumping.

There is no listed opposition to the bill, and supporters of the bill opine that by ensuring unscrupulous contractors who do not follow the rules are held accountable, this helps level the playing field for contractors who follow the law. As one county task force stated in support:

The bill would help deter illegal dumping and help to ensure that waste is properly processed, reducing environmental damage and public health risks. Illegal dumping has significant social, environmental, and economic impacts statewide. California local governments spend tens of millions of dollars annually to remove and clean up illegally dumped materials.

Governor Newsom signed AB 246 on July 9, 2021 (Chapter 46, Statutes of 2021).

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