The California Department of Toxic Substances Control will likely release a draft Priority Product Work Plan in mid-July 2014 for public comment, and will hold workshops in August 2014 on the draft Work Plan. The Work Plan will describe product categories that DTSC will evaluate over the next three years to identify Priority Products under its new Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Regulations. Business entities should closely monitor DTSC’s development of its Work Plan to understand whether their business operations may be impacted by DTSC’s identification of product categories, which ultimately may become subject to burdensome regulation under the SCP program.
Under the SCP Regulations, DTSC must identify Priority Products — that is, chemical/product combinations — that must undergo alternatives assessments to determine whether “safer” alternatives are available. Depending on the outcome of those alternatives assessments, which must be undertaken by entities responsible for those Priority Products, DTSC is authorized to impose regulatory responses which include product bans, labeling requirements, use restrictions and requirements to invest in research to develop alternatives. “Responsible entities” subject to the SCP Regulations are manufacturers, importers, retailers and assemblers of consumer products.
DTSC already has released an initial draft Priority Product list. The draft Priority Products list identifies children’s foam-padded sleeping products containing tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate; spray polyurethane foam systems containing unreacted diisocyanates; and methylene chloride-containing paint and varnish strippers and cleaners. DTSC is expected to publish its final Priority Products list in the fall of 2014 for formal public comment in a rulemaking proceeding. Once this list becomes final as a set of formal regulations, related regulatory obligations imposed on responsible entities will be triggered.
In the meantime, DTSC is required to develop a path forward, through the Priority Products Work Plan, for future identification of Priority Products. The agency must regularly issue new Work Plans, with each Work Plan effective for a three-year period. A new Work Plan must be issued no later than one year before the three-year expiration of the then-current Work Plan. When issued in final form, the Work Plans will identify and describe the product categories that will be evaluated over the next three years for Priority Product identification, and must explain DTSC’s decisions to select those identified product categories.
The agency’s deadline to issue the first Work Plan is October 1, 2014.
In June 25, 2014 workshop with the Green Ribbon Science Panel, DTSC sought input on potential approaches to develop the Work Plan.