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March 2014

It’s Finally Here — DTSC’s Draft Priority Products List

Today the California Department of Toxic Substances Control announced its Priority Products List under the new Safer Consumer Products Regulations.  This is a long-awaited key step in the implementation of DTSC’s new and expansive program which, according to Cal/EPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez, is intended to “minimize chemical risks in consumer products” and “safeguard consumers across California.”  Manufacturers, importers, retailers and assemblers — “responsible entities” under the program — will be required to undertake complex and resource-intensive alternatives analyses of their Priority Products as specified in the regulations, unless they are able to use one of the several alternatives analysis “off-ramps.”  Priority Products ultimately also will be subject to regulatory responses imposed by DTSC based on specified criteria; regulatory responses include product bans. The Priority Products are: Children’s foam-padded sleeping products containing tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, also known as “TDCPP” or “Chlorinated Tris” Spray polyurethane foam containing unreacted diisocyanates Paint strippers containing methylene …Read More

The Lottery No One Wants to Win: The Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act Compliance Certification Is Coming

California’s Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act is intended to reduce the amount of plastic waste disposed of in California landfills and to increase the use of post-consumer content in plastic packaging.  The law requires manufacturers of products held in rigid plastic packaging containers (RPPCs) to comply with certain requirements to achieve these goals, like source reduction or using post-consumer material content.  Under new regulations effective 2013, CalRecycle will select certain product manufacturers by March 31 of every year to certify compliance.  The compliance certifications are due April 1 of the following year.  That means that product manufacturers selected by CalRecycle in March of 2014 will be required to submit their compliance certifications by April 1, 2015.  CalRecycle expects to notify the selected product manufacturers in mid-March this year. Compliance certification is a laborious process requiring mathematical calculations using CalRecyle’s formulas for demonstrating compliance with one or more of the regulatory …Read More

OEHHA Proposes Overhaul of Prop 65 Warning Regulations — But Will It Help or Hurt?

On March 7, 2014, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment published a pre-regulatory draft of new Proposition 65 warning regulations.  The draft represents a complete overhaul of the decades-old regulations and is intended to address their numerous shortcomings.  However, the draft regulations, if finalized in their current form with their burdensome requirements and ambiguities, likely will create more problems than they solve.  Although the draft is not a formal rulemaking, the public is invited to comment.  Businesses and their trade organizations should be sure to present their position on the package before the May 14, 2014 deadline. Under the proposal, the changes would not affect requirements imposed on businesses that are parties to settlements approved by a court before January 1, 2015.  Parties to out-of-court settlements apparently would not enjoy similar protection. Among OEHHA’s many proposed changes: A requirement for businesses providing Prop 65 warnings to submit extensive …Read More

Another TSCA Modernization Bill?

On February 27, 2014, House Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) released a discussion draft of a TSCA reform bill, the Chemicals in Commerce Act.  The draft keys off the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S. 1009), a bipartisan Senate TSCA modernization bill introduced last year.  With industry and non-governmental organizations already taking well-trodden sides, the new draft legislation offers as much controversy as compromise. The draft legislation’s dual objectives are to improve public confidence in the safety of chemicals and to facilitate interstate commerce.  The two goals are illustrated in what likely will be one of the most controversial provisions:  preemption of state chemical laws.  The Chemicals in Commerce Act discussion draft prohibits states from regulating a chemical substance, mixture or article when EPA already is regulating that substance, mixture or article, or when EPA has made a determination regarding the risk of harm to human health or the environment.  Such broad preemption …Read More