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Legislation Would Ban RV Waste Tank Chemicals

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Aired 4/9/10

A California legislator has proposed a law banning harmful chemicals used in recreational vehicle waste tanks. The proposal comes after efforts failed to get retailers to switch to environmentally-friendly alternatives.

A California legislator has proposed a law banning harmful chemicals used in recreational vehicle waste tanks. The proposal comes after efforts failed to get retailers to switch to environmentally-friendly alternatives.

The holding tanks collect the material flushed down RV toilets.

The chemicals help mask the smell but they also disrupt septic systems and harm groundwater when the tanks are emptied at campgrounds.

Debbie Sipe with the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds said environmentally-friendly alternatives work just as well.

"They're healthier for the consumer, they don't have a carcinogenic in them and they're better for the systems and the groundwater," said Sipe.

Sipe sent letters to retailers and distributors of RV holding tank products early last year asking them to carry alternatives.

She said none of the companies acted on her suggestion.

The proposed legislation, AB 1824, would prohibit the use of non-biodegradable toxic chemicals in the toilets or holding tanks of boats and recreational vehicles.

Specifically, the ban would include holding tank products containing bronopol, dowicil, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, paraformaldehyde and para-dichlorobenzene.

The bill proposed by Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Santa Cruz) is expected to be heard in committee later this month.

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