California’s Safer Consumer Products final regulations were generally approved by the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) and filed with the Secretary of State on August 28. As we have previously discussed, the Safer Consumer Products program establishes a statewide system that implements a key element of the California Green Chemistry Initiative: accelerating the use of safer products through a science-based process to evaluate chemicals of concern and identify safer alternatives. To recap, this process consists of four steps:
- The regulations establish a starting list of about 1,200 Candidate Chemicals based on the work of other authoritative organizations. DTSC will identify additional Candidate Chemicals.
- DTSC will evaluate and prioritize Candidate Chemical/consumer product combinations to develop a list of “Priority Products.”
- Manufacturers (or other responsible entities, such as importers or retailers) of Priority Products must notify DTSC when their product is listed as a Priority Product and conduct Alternatives Analyses.
- DTSC will identify and implement regulatory responses designed to protect public health and the environment and maximize the use of acceptable and feasible alternatives.
The regulations that will set this process in motion will go into effect starting October 1, 2013.
We discussed the development of these regulations in April and February of this year. DTSC made further revisions based on the April proposal after receiving feedback from the OAL, which are generally minor.
Although most of DTSC’s proposed regulations were approved, the OAL disapproved [PDF] three minor provisions of the regulations for failing to meet standards for clarity. In response, DTSC has proposed revisions which would re-add those provisions with minor drafting changes, and emphasized the necessity for their inclusion in order to maintain flexibility in collecting information and to maximize transparency while protecting validly claimed trade secrets. The first provision specifies that documents submitted to DTSC must be in English and in “an electronic format accessible” to the agency, while the other two provisions specify how DTSC will handle trade secret claims, and how submitting parties can dispute the agency’s trade secrecy determination. DTSC will be accepting comments on these revisions through September 9, 2013; the 15-day notice discussing the revisions is here [PDF] and the revised text is here [PDF].