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Michelle Craig 77

California Legislature Continues Its Push for “Clean Concrete”

Assembly Bill 1365, Senate Bill 596

Introduced by the former State Assembly member representing the 18thDistrict, Rob Bonta, (he is now serving as California’s Attorney General), Assembly Bill 1365 is targeting the State Contract Act by adding a new section to the Public Contract Code.

AB 1365 establishes a schedule to incorporate concrete into the State’s Buy Clean program and leverage California’s purchasing power to advance low carbon technologies and best practices across the supply chain.

Specifically, the bill: 

1)  requires concrete producers bidding on a state public works project to provide supply-chain specific Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to disclose the carbon footprint of their mixes in a manner that is transparent, comprehensive, verifiable and consistent. It requires the submission of supply-chain specific EPDs (as defined) as a best practice. 

2)  requires the use of performance-based specifications for concrete in state public works projects. 

3)  starting in 2023, provides a discount rate for bids ranked in the top 20th percentile in order to drive competition for state contracts based on GHG performance and support ongoing innovation.

4)  starting in 2024, requires the Department of General Services to set an emissions threshold
for concrete based on the industry average as reflected in EPDs, and raise the floor every three years to reflect industry improvements. This aligns with the process Department of General Services follows for the other materials currently covered by Buy Clean. 

Also working its way through the State legislature is Senate Bill 596, which targets greenhouse gases in cement and concrete production.  Introduced by Senator Becker, the bill would require the carbon intensity of concrete used in the state to be reduced by at least 40% from 2019 levels by 2030, and the concrete and cement industry to achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2045. The legislation, if adopted in its current form, would require the State Air Resources Board to develop the strategy and, among other things, to identify modifications to existing measures and evaluate new measures, including a low-carbon product standard for concrete or cement, to achieve those objectives.

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