ENVIRONMENTAL SNAPSHOT: June 23, 2011

New Alternatives to Disposing of Old Paint


As a result of new legislation signed into law by Governor Malloy on June 3, Connecticut will become the third state to require paint manufacturers to manage leftover latex and oil-based paints.  According to the new law, paint producers that sell or distribute their product in Connecticut must establish a nonprofit stewardship program by March 1, 2013.  The program will be funded by an assessment on each container of architectural paint sold in the state.  This new requirement applies only to interior and exterior architectural coatings sold in containers of five gallons or less.  It does not apply to “industrial, original equipment, or specialty coatings.”

The paint manufacturers will develop a representative organization for the stewardship program that will create a plan that reduces public sector involvement in managing paint after it has been sold.  Once the plan is developed, it must be approved by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).  As DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty has noted, “As any homeowner in Connecticut knows, getting rid of unwanted paint is a difficult challenge.”

The new law also requires producers and the representative organization to provide consumers with educational materials regarding the paint stewardship program, including notification that the assessment is to be included in the purchase price of the paint.  It allows retailers to provide paint collection points and requires the results of the program to be reported back to DEEP.

Both the DEEP and the paint industry, which has voiced its support for the legislation, hope that Connecticut can join California and Oregon in moving forward toward a consistent law that allows for the cooperation of industry, government and the general public in developing practical and environmentally sound practices regarding the disposal of paint.

For more information, please contact Diane W. Whitney, chair of the Environmental department, at 860-424-4330 or dwhitney@pullcom.com