I See a Prop 65 Label On This Product, But What Does It Mean? New California Website to Explain

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At the beginning of 2016, the State of California (OEHHA) adopted a new regulation to give itself authority to create and operate a website to provide information about the Prop 65 labels the public sees on everyday products and in everyday locations such as restaurants, gas stations and airports.  New section 25205 allows OEHHA to post information about pathways of exposure to chemicals in products and strategies to avoid exposure, while also providing a disclaimer that OEHHA cannot assure the accuracy of anything it posts.   It creates a petition process for manufacturers, sellers and the [...]Read more

Short Comment Period for Revised Prop 65 Warning Regulations

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On Friday, March 25, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released another set of proposed revisions to the Prop 65 warning label regulations. The comment period is very short – only 15 days.  Members of the public have only until April 11, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. PST to submit comments on the revised regulations.  Requests to extend the comment period are pending, but not guaranteed. OEHAA initiated formal rulemaking for the revisions to Prop 65 warning label regulations in January 2015. That proposal was repealed and replaced with new proposed regulations [...]Read more

County-Level Pharmaceutical Take-Back Programs May Be Spreading in California and Illinois

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Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest County, has proposed a pharmaceutical take-back ordinance that would require businesses to finance a local government program for disposal of unwanted medications and potentially hazardous medical products like needles and syringes. Under the draft ordinance, termed the “Los Angeles County Pharmaceuticals and Sharps Collection and Disposal Stewardship Ordinance,” certain manufacturers, producers, or distributors of covered medications and supplies would be responsible for designing, implementing and financing the collection program. At its March 22, [...]Read more

California Proposition 65 Regulations Overhaul

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The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposes to repeal existing regulations and replace them with newer regulations to further the “right-to-know” purpose of the Proposition 65 statute and provide more specific guidance on the content of safe harbor warnings. In addition, the proposed regulations add a specific section addressing the relative responsibilities of providing warnings for businesses in the chain of commerce versus retail sellers of a given product. Originally adopted in 1988, Proposition 65 regulations require California businesses to provide [...]Read more

DOJ Redoubles Efforts to Prosecute Workplace Violations as Environmental Crimes

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Reporting that 13 workers in America die each day on the job due to injuries and 150 workers succumb to exposure to carcinogens and other toxic and hazardous substances while working, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to increase deterrence of crimes that put the lives and the health of workers at risk. Given the troubling statistics, the DOJ is redoubling joint efforts between its Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other agencies to hold accountable [...]Read more

TSCA Reform Passes Senate Unanimously

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Historic overhaul of the primary law governing the safety of chemical products in the U.S.—the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”)—has, after long delay, passed in the Senate. With agreement from all sides that the law is long overdue for modernization and reform, lawmakers have been working for years to update and reform TSCA.  Enacted in 1976, TSCA has never been significantly amended and the current legislation is poised to massively overhaul U.S. EPA’s authority over chemicals in commerce. In June 2015, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan TSCA Modernization Act [...]Read more

After years of starts and stops, OEHHA commences new rulemaking to change the Prop 65 product label requirements

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After nearly a year of heavy industry opposition and objections to the proposed draft regulations requiring all manufacturers selling goods in California to change their Prop 65 product label warnings, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) has announced that it will not meet its legal obligation to produce a final regulation on product warning requirements by January 19, 2016.   Instead, OEHHA will withdraw its previous proposed rulemaking, issued in January of this year, and open an entirely new rulemaking record separate and apart from that engaged in [...]Read more

EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposed RCRA Rules

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EPA announced this morning that it extended the comment period for both the Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Proposed Rule and the Hazardous Waste Generators Improvements Proposed Rule until December 24, 2015, according to the pre-publication notices here and here.  All healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical reverse distributors and other hazardous waste generators should read the proposed rules, and each should analyze the impacts it will have on its operations and waste management practices.  The proposed rules have broad-reaching implications, and generators should provide [...]Read more

California Releases its First Draft of its Alternatives Analysis Guide (AA Guide)

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All manufacturers and sellers of consumer products into California should take note.    California has just released its first draft of stage one of its Alternatives Analysis Guide (AA Guide).  You can read all 103 pages here. If your product is selected as a “priority product” under the California Safer Consumer Product Regulations, then your company will be required to prepare and submit for public review an alternatives analysis (AA).  Learn more here, here or here. An AA is a brand new paperwork beast.  It is in parts a large CEQA/NEPA-type document, in parts a hazard assessment, [...]Read more

EPA Released its Proposed Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule

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Today, EPA released its proposed Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule.  A pre-publication copy is available here. The proposed rule, if finalized, will add a subpart P under 40 CFR part 266, which applies to the management of hazardous waste (HW) pharmaceuticals at healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical reverse distributors.  All pharmaceutical reverse distributors will be required to manage HW pharmaceuticals under this subpart, not 40 CFR part 262.  Subpart P creates a new category of hazardous waste entities, pharmaceutical reverse distributors – such entities [...]Read more