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September 2015

DTSC Releases SCP Regulations Draft Alternatives Analysis Guidance Document

On September 24, 2015, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control released its draft Alternatives Analysis Guide under the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Regulations. The 106-page document is intended to provide members of the regulated community with guidance on how to undertake a Stage 1 Alternatives Analysis under DTSC’s new program. DTSC is accepting comments on the draft, and comments may be submitted electronically. DTSC also is holding two webinars on the draft guide, on October 7, 2015 and October 21, 2015. The SCP Regulations, promulgated in October 2013, establish a four-element regulatory program intended to reduce toxic chemicals in California commerce by, among other things, leveraging green chemistry principles. The four elements of the program are: The Candidate Chemicals List; The Priority Products List; The Alternative Analysis (AA) process (a two-stage process); and Regulatory Responses. Priority Products are product categories identified by DTSC in association with one or more …Read More

European Court of Justice Interprets REACH Duties for Articles Containing SHVCs

On September 10, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a ruling that the duty to notify as to the presence of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) under the EU’s REACH regulation extends to components of complex articles, not to the entire complex article. This puts to rest contradictory prior interpretations of this issue — and will trigger significant shifts in information obligations throughout global supply chains for assembled products. SVHCs are chemicals proposed for authorization under REACH.  Under the regulation, producers and importers of articles must notify the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) if the SVHC is present in the articles they produce and/or import at a total of >1 tonne per producer/importer per year and the substance is present in those articles above a concentration of 0.1% (weight by weight). REACH also requires suppliers of articles containing an SVHC above 0.1% to provide recipients with sufficient information …Read More

Senate TSCA Reform Bill Still On Track for Senate Floor Vote

The Senate’s TSCA reform bill, S.697, remains on track for a Senate floor vote in October.  Other priorities, however, may still get in the way, including a highway funding bill.  And, even if S.697 succeeds in the Senate, it will have to be reconciled with the narrower House TSCA reform bill, H.R. 2576, before TSCA reform can be enacted this year. The key point of contention with S.697 is its preemptive scope.  Senator Boxer, in particular, repeatedly has expressed concerns about S.697’s preemption provisions potentially curtailing states’ rights to enact and enforce their own toxics laws.  The preemption provisions of H.R. 2576 are narrower in scope. The two bills have contrasting approaches in other provisions as well. For example, S.697 would amend TSCA’s Section 5 (new chemicals) and Section 6 (existing chemicals); H.R. 2576 would only amend amend provisions for regulation of existing chemicals and would leave current TSCA Section 5 …Read More

Belgium Issues Guidance on Nanomaterial Registration

Belgium’s Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment has published guidance documents on the recently enacted Belgian Royal Decree Regarding the Placement on the Market of Substances Manufactured at the Nanoscale.  Under the Royal Decree, substances placed on the market in Belgium in the nanoscale state, as defined, will have to be registered before January 1st, 2016.  The registration deadline for mixtures containing such substances is January 1, 2017. Nanomaterial is defined as a substance containing particles, in an unbound state or as an aggregate or agglomerate and where, for 50 % or more of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions is in the size range 1 to 100 nanometers.  “Placing on the market” in Belgium means “the introduction, the import or the precarious possession for the purpose of selling or making available to third parties, the offer to sell, the sale, the offer to …Read More

OEHHA Revises Proposition 65 Website Proposal

On September 4, 2015, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment published a revised proposal for a Proposition 65 website. This follows OEHHA’s January 16, 2015 proposal, on which the agency received numerous public comments. Comments on the September 4, 2015 revised version of the proposal are due by September 21, 2015. OEHHA representatives in the past have stated that they are routinely inundated with inquiries from the public about Proposition 65 warnings being conveyed by businesses. OEHHA’s website proposal is intended as a vehicle to provide members of the public with such information. The proposal authorizes OEHHA to require businesses to provide the agency with information such as the concentration of the listed chemical in a product, the estimated level of exposure to the chemical and anticipated routes of exposure. The information provided, along with generally available information such as links to the Food and Drug Administration’s and other …Read More