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February 2016

OEHHA Adopts No Significant Risk Level for DINP

On February 19, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced its adoption of a Proposition 65 No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) of 146 micrograms per day for diisononyl phthalate (DINP). This means that exposures to DINP above 146 micrograms per day require a warning under Proposition 65. The NSRL, adopted as a formal regulation under Proposition 65, will be effective as of April 1, 2016. DINP is a plasticizer used in a variety of products and has been a favorite target among Proposition 65 private enforcers.  OEHHA listed the chemical as a carcinogen on December 20, 2013.  With hundreds of Proposition 65 chemicals still awaiting the development of an NSRL (for carcinogens) and Maximum Acceptable Dose Levels (for reproductive toxicants), it is remarkable OEHHA has moved so quickly to adopt an NSRL for this chemical. OEHHA had proposed this NSRL on January 2, 2015. A number of public …Read More

Attorney General Releases Revised Prop 65 Settlement Guidelines for Public Comment

The California Attorney General has released a revised proposal to amend that office’s Proposition 65 settlement guidelines.  Public comments must be submitted by February 26, 2016. The Attorney General is authorized by statute to monitor and supervise Proposition 65 private enforcement.  With that authority, the AG has promulgated regulations governing, for example, the Certificate of Merit requirement and guidelines governing Proposition 65 settlements.  As GLO reported in a prior post, on September 25, 2015, the Attorney General published a proposal to revise the guidelines governing Proposition 65 settlements with the goal of increasing transparency and accountability in the settlement of private enforcement actions, and curbing abusive private enforcement. The revised proposal makes few changes to the September 2015 proposal: An added definition of “Private Enforcer”; Clarification regarding the effect of reformulation of a product, as well as reduction in air emissions and other changes in a defendant’s practices, as conferring a “public …Read More

FDA Revokes Approval of Three Perfluoroalkyl Ethyl Containing Food-Contact Substances

Adding to the continuing regulatory scrutiny of perfluoroalkyl chemicals, the Food and Drug Administration revoked its approval of three perfluoroalkyl ether chemicals used in oil and water repellants for paper and paperboard food packaging on January 4, 2016. The FDA took this action in response to a petition submitted by a number of NGOs, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”) and Breast Cancer Fund, seeking an amended regulation to remove FDA’s approval of these chemicals for use in food packaging under 21 C.F.R. Section  176.170. The three affected chemicals are: 1. Diethanolamine salts of mono- and bis (1 H, 1 H, 2 H, 2 H perfluoroalkyl) phosphates where the alkyl group is even-numbered in the range C8-C18 and the salts have a fluorine content of 52.4 percent to 54.4 percent as determined on a solids basis; 2. Pentanoic acid, 4,4-bis [(gamma-omega-perfluoro-C8-20-alkyl)thio] derivatives, compounds with diethanolamine (CAS Reg. No. 71608-61-2); and …Read More

EPA Announces Electronic Portal for Submission of Self-Disclosures

On December 9, 2015, EPA announced the launch of its new “eDisclosure” portal to receive and automatically process self-disclosures of federal environment law violations.  According to EPA, the new electronic portal will more quickly process and resolve such self-disclosures and maximize EPA’s available resources. In 2000, EPA issued its formal policy on “Incentives for Self-Policing:  Discovery, Disclosure, Correction and Prevention of Violations,” more commonly referred to as the “Audit Policy.” Regulated entities who voluntarily discover, disclose, correct and prevent violations of federal environmental laws benefit from the Audit Policy’s reduction (and in some cases, elimination) of gravity-based civil penalties if the Audit Policy’s requirements are met.  Small businesses also receive similar incentives under the Small Business Compliance Policy issued in 2000.  These policies’ incentives for self-disclosure and correction of violations enhance the protection of human health and the environment, particularly when EPA’s enforcement resources are stretched. EPA’s new eDisclosure portal makes no substantive …Read More

California Ingredient Disclosure Bill Fails

A California bill that would have required the disclosure of ingredients in cleaning products failed to pass the California Assembly on January 28, 2016. As originally introduced in February 2015, AB 708 would have required manufacturers of cleaning products to disclose their ingredients in descending order of weight percentage and to provide the Chemical Abstract Service Registry Numbers for each ingredient. The bill also would have required a description of the purpose of the ingredient. “Cleaning products” would have included air care products, automotive products like waxes, general cleaning products like detergents and floor maintenance products. The bill was amended several times to narrow the scope of the disclosure obligations. In a January 27, 2016 amendment, the bill would have required ingredient disclosure only on the manufacturer’s website and not on the product label, and would have excluded unintentionally present chemicals from the disclosure obligation.