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American Chemistry Council Challenges Priority Product Designation of SPF Systems

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has joined the General Coatings Manufacturing Corp. (GCM) in filing the first lawsuit to challenge a Priority Product designation under California’s Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Regulations. Pending in Fresno County Superior Court, the complaint alleges that the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Priority Product designation of spray polyurethane foam systems with unreacted methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (SPF Systems)  is contrary to governing statute and regulations, that SPF Systems fall outside the scope of Priority Products because they are already regulated under existing law, and that the listing is inconsistent with DTSC’s statutory and regulatory authority.

The SCP Regulations identify a wide universe of chemicals as “Candidate Chemicals.” Through formal rulemaking under the Program, DTSC identifies product-Candidate Chemical combinations as Priority Products. Priority Products then must be evaluated via an alternatives analysis. The SCP program asks the “responsible entities” of Priority Products, including manufacturers and importers, to identify themselves and essentially answer two questions: is the chemical necessary, and is there a safer alternative?

Although the program overall has developed at a pace slower than some NGOs would like, effective July 1, 2018, DTSC officially designated SPF Systems as a Priority Product. This followed a number of workshops held by DTSC, at which many attendees protested the potential designation of SPF Systems as Priority Products. Following the formal rulemaking that resulted in the designation of SPF Systems as Priority Products, the ACC requested that DTSC withdraw its designation through both informal dispute resolution and an appeal to the Director of DTSC. After DTSC rejected both of ACC’s appeals, ACC and GCM filed their lawsuit.


Grimaldi Law Offices has been advising clients for over 20 years on chemical and product regulation. For knowledgeable advice and in-depth analysis on your chemical regulatory compliance obligations, contact Grimaldi Law Offices at (415) 463-5186 or email us at [email protected].

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Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.