Old Rules Relaxed & New Rules Added (CALIFORNIA ONLY), January 2017


SEPARATION OF PAPER & METAL:  In 2016, California EPA started to enforce hazardous waste regulations regarding used oil filters.  While crushed metal oil filters could be recycled as scrap metal, paper cartridge filters and metal oil filters (with free flowing used oil upon puncture) were to be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Dealers started to separate the two types of oil filters and dispose of them as two different streams.

HAULERS TO THE RESCUE:  The big hazardous waste haulers for the automotive industry have stated that they will collect mixed paper and metal filters, albeit for a higher fee (see table below).  Also, mixed oil filters will be collected under a CA Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest.

DISPOSAL PAPERWORK, COSTS & FEES:  Paperwork involves time, and other costs must be kept in mind if you switch over from the scrap metal to the mixed filter disposal regime.  They are as follows:



  • Disposal Cost of $50-70/drum
  • Can Be Stored on Site for 1 year
  • Normal Bill of Lading Required
  • No Manifest Fee
  • No Generator Fee
  • No SB14 Report Obligations
  • Shop staff  must be trained to classify filters
  • Disposal Cost of $100-150/drum*
  • Must Be Disposed of in 90 days
  • Haz. Waste Manifest Required (6 pages)
  • Manifest Fee of $7.50 (if non-recycled)
  • Haz. Waste Gen. Fee >5 tons/year
  • SB14 reports required for facilities that generate haz. waste in excess of 12 tons/year**

* These costs will vary depending upon location of dealer, volume of waste generated, and buying power of dealership.

** See https://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/SB14/SB14_Intro.cfm.

SUMMARY:  Separation of paper and metal oil filters adds to labor costs, however it can be worthwhile as scrap metal has lower disposal costs and fewer regulatory requirements.  Varying designs of oil filters among auto manufacturers also impact disposal costs and strategy.


TOW TRUCK REGULATIONS:  In 2016, Assembly Bill 1222 was enacted to protect dealers from bandit tow truck operators.  The regulations required auto dealers to keep records of towed vehicles (make, model, and license plate OR VIN number), the tow company’s identification, and the tow truck driver’s name and the driver’s license number.

Dealers fumed at this regulation, especially when tow truck drivers delivered vehicles after hours, which made obtaining information from the company a headache.  In certain cases, the tow truck drivers simply refused to provide their license information.

AB 2167 COMES TO THE RESCUE:  The new law, effective January 1, 2017, eases the requirements for the dealership to obtain tow truck company and driver information.

OLD LAW (AB 1222)

NEW LAW (AB 2167)

ID Requirements:  Obtain tow truck driver’s name and driver’s license number.


After-Hours Delivery By Tow Truck Company:  After-hours delivery required the dealer to contact the tow truck company. If no tow truck ID was left in the vehicle, it was a bit of a wild goose chase.

ID Requirements:  Other forms of ID, such as government issued ID, AAA Motor Club ID, or Police Garage ID are acceptable.

After-Hours Delivery By Tow Truck Company:  After-hours is defined as the period when the service department is closed.  The new law allows the dealer to document the date and time the vehicle was first observed on premises and that reasonable effort was made to reach the tow truck company.

SUMMARY:  The dealership should train staff to obtain information from tow truck operators under the new regulation as listed above.  For after-hours drop-offs, document the date and time the vehicle is first observed on premises and the effort made to contact the tow truck company.  We have provided a form that the dealership can use to document the tow company drop-offs.


BACKGROUND:  For 35 years, a Southeast LA County recycling plant had been recycling lead-acid batteries.  While recycling is a noble task, this plant spewed out lead and arsenic fumes and polluted nearly 10,000 homes in the neighborhood.  People fell sick and complained to their elected officials. Elected officials dedicated $7 million to test the homes and in 2016, voted to provide another $176.6 million for the cleanup.  Elected officials then wrote AB 2153 that imposed a fee on every battery sold in California beginning April 1, 2017.

BATTERY FEE:  The CA Battery Fee will start at $1.00 and increase to $2.00 on April 1, 2022.  Dealers must achieve compliance as follows:

  • Collect $1.00 from every customer for each battery purchase and post as a separate line item on the invoice as “California Battery Fee”.
  • Collect fee for batteries sold only. There is no charge for warranty batteries or replaced batteries under a service contract.
  • Register with the State BOE and remit fees to the state after completing appropriate forms.

DEPOSIT FOR CORE:  The statute clarifies some procedural issues related to core credit.  Dealers can charge $15-20, as is the norm for core credit, if the core is not provided at the time of battery purchase (at the front counter).  Parts Department must follow procedures as follows:

  • Customer must bring the core to the dealer within 45 days of the new battery purchase to claim the deposit paid at the time of the battery purchase.
  • The refundable deposit must be indicated on the invoice as a separate line item and not included with any other fees or charges.
  • After 45 days, if no core is returned, the dealer can keep the core credit minus the sales tax remitted.

STATUTORY NOTICE REQUIREMENT:  A written notice is to be included for batteries sold OR included on the invoice as follows:

  • This dealer is required by law to charge a nonrefundable $1 California Battery Fee and a refundable deposit for each lead-acid battery purchased.  A credit of the same amount as the refundable deposit will be issued if a used lead-acid battery is returned at the time of purchase or up to 45 days later along with this dealer’s receipt.

Note:  Dealerships must not accept more than six lead-acid batteries from a customer per day.

PROGRAM YOUR COMPUTERS:  Dealerships must program their computers to start the charge on April 1, 2017.  For ease of remitting fees to the state in a timely manner, create a separate account for California Battery Fee.

Ref.:  CA AB 2153 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2153


BACKGROUND:  Back in 1995, California adopted a “No Smoking” law. The law then stated that “No employer shall knowingly or intentionally permit, and no person shall engage in, the smoking of Tobacco products in an enclosed space at a place of employment.”  See California Labor Code Section 6404.5(b).  The law also had statutory penalties associated with non-compliance.  In 1995, the concept of vaping was non-existent.  The new law of 2017 addresses the issue of vaping and defines the areas of the workplace, in which the smoking ban now applies.

SMOKING REGULATIONS:  The new law, enacted on January 1, 2017, clarifies and expands on the definition of an enclosed space.  The enclosed space being covered by the ban includes “covered parking lots, lobbies, lounges, waiting areas, elevators, stairwells, and restrooms that are a structural part of the building.”  The statute clarifies that tobacco use includes electronic cigarettes.  Fines are up to $100 for the first violation and $200 for the second violation within one year, and $500 for the third violation.

NOTICES:  Where smoking is prohibited throughout the building or structure, a sign stating “No Smoking” shall be posted at each entrance to the building of structure.  Where smoking is permitted in designated areas, a sign stating “Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas” shall be posted at each entrance to the building or structure.

FIRE HAZARD:  California law prohibits all open flame and sparks (including smoking) within 20 feet of flammable vapors (brake cleaner, gasoline, etc.).  See Title 8 CCR Section 5449.

BAN SMOKING & VAPING:  Dealerships must ban smoking (vaping as well) as listed in the statute and post notices as required under AB 7.  The designated areas for smoking may be created at the back of the building so as to create a positive image for the company.  A dealership in Cerritos wishes to go completely smoke-free!  Let’s see how that experiment goes.

Ref.:  AB 7 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520162AB7

DOWNLOAD:  January 2017 Newsletter

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