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Proposed California “Safer Consumer Product Alternatives” Regulations

PROPOSED CALIFORNIA “SAFER CONSUMER PRODUCT ALTERNATIVES” REGULATIONS

On September 14, 2010, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) published proposed regulations that will impose sweeping new responsibilities and regulatory risks on companies world-wide that manufacture products for sale into California, as well as those California companies marketing consumer products in that state.

In the now officially proposed draft, DTSC places the duty to comply on a newly defined term, called the “responsible entity.” Companies selling products into California may be a “responsible entity” if they are:

  •  An owner or licensee of a brand name or trademark under which a consumer product is placed into the stream of commerce in California;
  • A California importer;
  • A California distributor;
  • a retailer; or
  • Any person who is party to a contractual agreement with a California importer, distributor or retailer concerning a consumer product placed into the stream of commerce, unless that contractual agreement specifically states that the product shall not be sold in California.

 The draft regulations set out a schedule for its four-step identifIcation and prioritization schedule over the next three years. Thus, the first product to be selected to attempt to comply with this new regulatory program would be in December 2013.

 Step One: DTSC is proposing to first establish an initial list of “Chemicals Under Consideration” by June 1, 2011, and a final list by March 1, 2012.

Step Two: DTSC is proposing to establish an initial list of “Priority Chemicals” by July 1, 2012.

Step Three: DTSC is proposing to have an initial list of “Products Under Consideration” by March 1, 2013.

Step Four: DTSC is proposing to have an initial list of “Priority Products” by September 1, 2013, and a final list by December 1, 2013.

All companies selling consumer products in and into California obviously have a substantial interest in what ultimately is contained on each of these important “lists.” It is important to note that this listing process is not envisioned to be an exclusively government exercise, as the regulations also provide for a petition process for any person to add chemicals and products to the lists. After they are all developed, the duty to comply with the alternative analysis reporting and documentation for the responsible entity for that priority product will commence

Comments can be submitted to DTSC electronically by using the comment link on DTSC’s website. They also can be submitted via mail or e-mail, or at a public hearing to be held in Sacramento on November 1, 2010

http://dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/GreenChemistryInitiative/Proposed-Regulation.cfm.

Tim Burkhart
Six Flags, Magic Mountain

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