Revised green chemistry regulations released

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 8, 2013 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Tuesday, January 29th, the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) released its ninth version of the proposed Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Regulation, a revision from the proposal released last Fall. There will be a 30-day comment period ending February 28th.

While the revision attempts to speak to some of the concerns of the business community, it continues to fall short of addressing significant costs and employs a command-and-control approach that will burden companies looking to innovate and comply with the regulation. DTSC has left themselves with virtually total discretion to determine which chemicals and products are selected, the requirements of the alternatives assessment, which responses are appropriate, etc. There is no certainty that a company’s efforts will meet DTSC’s expectations, since there is not a prescribed plan. It appears the program will be developed as each chemical and product is pinpointed; however, companies will not only bear the cost but also will be subject to potentially high fines if DTSC does not accept their work. In addition, the Department has exempted themselves from having to do an economic impact assessment of the initial products selected.

On the positive side, DTSC changed the name of their previous list of “Chemicals of Concern” to “Candidate Chemicals,” but without context for their use on a product-by-product basis and added two additional chemical lists. As revised, the regulation now provides an initial list of “Candidate Chemicals” for review and consideration, only to become designated “Chemicals of Concern” when listed in conjunction with a Priority Product required to go through an Alternatives Analysis. Other potentially positive provisions included in the revision, such as acknowledgement of unintentionally added versus intentionally added chemicals, were negated by applicability provisions that make the beneficial additions irrelevant. There is still widespread concern by the business community regarding a lack of protection for trade secrets and a lack of a specified de minimus in the regulations.

While the business community is continuing to voice strong concerns to the Department, Administration and Legislature, the revised proposal is expected to be the final opportunity for public comment before the Department submits the package to the Office of Administrative Law for final review by April for proposed implementation beginning in July. 

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