On August 30, 2019, California Governor approved AB 1123, which amends Proposition 65 to require briefs in Proposition 65-related appeals to be served on the Attorney General. The bill amends Proposition 65 to add subsection (o) to Section 25249.7 and provides:
If a violation of this chapter is alleged or the application or construction of provisions of this chapter is at issue in a proceeding in the Supreme Court, court of appeal, or the appellate division of the superior court, each party shall serve a copy of the party’s brief or petition and brief, on the Attorney General. Service on the Attorney General shall be accomplished by serving the brief, or petition and brief, on the Proposition 65 coordinator at the service address designated on the Attorney General’s internet website for Proposition 65 enforcement reporting. A brief shall not be accepted or filed unless the proof of service shows service on the Attorney General. A party failing to comply with this subdivision shall be given a reasonable opportunity to cure the failure before the court imposes sanction, and, in that instance, the court shall allow the Attorney General reasonable additional time to file a brief in the matter.
Proposition 65, formally known as the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, is commonly understood as a chemical right-to-know law. It requires regulated businesses to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings for exposures to Proposition 65-listed chemicals under specified circumstances. The law is enforced exclusively via civil lawsuits filed by public prosecutors or by any person in the public interest.
The Attorney General exercises two roles under Proposition 65: that office enforces the law and also supervises private enforcement. AB 1123 ensures that the Attorney General has an opportunity to weigh in on the interpretation of this law, a particularly important role with respect to enforcement actions brought by private enforcers.