Attorney drops county, cities from lawsuit over plastic bag ban

An attorney suing San Luis Obispo County for adopting an ordinance that would ban plastic shopping bags at most stores in the county has dropped the county’s seven individual cities and the county itself as defendants in the lawsuit and will now aim it at the Integrated Waste Management Authority, which enacted the ban Jan. 11.

The IWMA — formed in 1994 under a joint powers agreement — consists of all five county supervisors, representatives from each of the county’s cities, and one representative speaking for the 10 community services districts spread around the county in areas outside city limits.

The vote to adopt the ordinance was 8-5.

Earlier, attorney Stephen L. Joseph of the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition withdrew one of his two causes of action against the IWMA.

The other cause of action — the contention that the Integrated Waste Management Authority should have completed an environmental impact report before voting on the ordinance — remains in place.

It is scheduled for a hearing March 22 before Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall.