California led the way in state-level regulation of chemicals in products, and now, other states are beginning to follow its example. Bills pending in both Massachusetts and Vermont are modeled after California’s Safer Consumer Products (SCP) regulations.
In Vermont, the State Senate yesterday voted to approve S. 239, a bill which has provoked controversy in the state and must pass final approval in the Senate today before moving to on to the House. Last week, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture held a hearing on H. 235, which would establish a SCP-like program. The proposals in both states entail creating a list of “priority” chemicals, as in the California program, which would likely be based on existing authoritative lists. Both bills also call for manufacturers to conduct alternatives assessments for certain products containing priority chemicals, and authorize state regulators to ban the sale of certain products. The Vermont bill provides for companies to apply for a waiver, and the Massachusetts bill provides for a range of regulatory responses besides an outright ban.