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EPA’s 2019 Civil Penalties for Violations

On February 6, 2019 (with a correction issued on February 25, 2019), the Environmental Protection Agency finalized its rule increasing the maximum civil penalties for violations of certain environmental statutes and agency regulations. The regulations are mandated under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Acts of 2015 (the “Act”). The Act was passed to enforce civil monetary penalties and promote deterrence and compliance with the law.  Under the Act, agencies are required to: (1) alter the civil penalty amount with a one time “catch-up” adjustment and (2) impose annual inflation-based adjustments. Annual penalty adjustments based on inflation became…

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California Confirms Sleep Products Comply with Safer Consumer Products Regulations

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control has verified that certain children’s sleep products sold in California satisfy relevant safety standards. The agency found that TDCPP and TCEP were not detected in any significant concentrations in the products that were examined in testing performed by the agency. The sleep products, which “appear to be in compliance” with the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) regulations, were designated as “priority products” under the SCP programme in July 2017. The designation of children’s foam-padded sleeping products containing flame retardants (TDCPP and TCEP) by the SCP resulted in the state requiring manufacturers to either stop using…

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States Considering More Chemical Regulations by Class

In recent years, the trend in chemical legislation has been state-driven with an emphasis on chemical category-based rather than specific chemical-based regulation. These are the findings of a large NGO known as Safer States, which is comprised of dozens of environmental health organizations in the United States and promotes chemical legislation nationwide. Indeed, the flurry of state activity with respect to chemical regulation suggests that states are increasingly seeking a dominant role in the regulatory process. As of the beginning of February, 24 states had more than 100 bills on chemical regulation slated for 2019. Many of these states have…

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OEHHA Withdraws Proposed Prop 65 Exemption for Carcinogens in Coffee

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has withdrawn a proposed regulation that would have exempted coffee from the Proposition 65 cancer warning requirement. It appears that the agency may re-propose the regulation following further review. OEHHA first proposed the regulation on June 15, 2018, and subsequently completed its review period and responded to public comments. On January 10, OEHHA submitted the unamended proposed regulation and its statement of reasons to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for final review. The new provision would have been codified as Section 25704 and entitled “Exposures to Listed Chemicals in Coffee…

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EPA Denies TSCA Petition for Asbestos Reporting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently rejected a petition filed under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that called for a revision to the TSCA rule for asbestos reporting. The basis for the denial was that the petitioners – the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, American Public Health Association, Center for Environmental Health, Environmental Working Group, Environmental Health Strategy Center, and Safety Chemicals Healthy Families- did not demonstrate the need to revise the existing rule. The petitioners, however, claim that they have a strong case for amending the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule which governs asbestos reporting.…

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