Author Archives: Maureen Gorsen

Maureen Gorsen
Located in Sacramento, Ms. Gorsen focuses her practice on providing strategic public policy, litigation and regulatory advocacy and counsel to a wide range of product manufacturers, brand owners, industrial facilities and landowners.  Read More

Food Packaging Alert: Increasing State Scrutiny of PFAs, BPA and BPS

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Washington recently passed legislation that will examine and possibly lead to a ban on perfluorinated chemicals (PFAs) in food packaging.  Under Washington’s Healthy Food Packaging Act (H.B. 2658/S.B. 6396), which takes effect June 7, the Department of Ecology is required to identify safer alternatives to PFAs by January 1, 2020.  If Ecology succeeds in doing so, the law will ban PFAs in paper food packaging two years later, on January 1, 2022.  If Ecology does not find safer alternatives, Ecology will be required to review safer alternatives every year.  When Ecology finds an acceptable [...]Read more

Manufacturer’s Alert: Focus of California Regulations for Next Three Years

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Product manufacturers of the following product categories will be the focus of DTSC’s safer consumer product regulations for the next three years: Beauty, Personal Care, and Hygiene Products Cleaning Products Household, School, and Workplace Furnishings and Décor Building Products and Materials Used in Construction and Renovation Consumable Office, School, and Business Supplies Food Packaging Lead-Acid Batteries This is the second Three Year Work Plan released by DTSC.   The State of California will now gather information about products in these categories in workshops [...]Read more

Consumer Product and Packaging Alert: Enforcement Activities are Increasing for “Biodegradable” Claims and Toxics in Packaging

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California’s district attorneys and regulatory enforcement attorneys are increasing their policing efforts on consumer product label claims and packaging content. Consumer product manufacturers and their packaging suppliers should make renewed efforts to ensure compliance with the California Toxics in Packaging Prevention Act (TIPPA) (see Cal. Health and Safety Code Section 25214.11) which limits the content of toxic metals (i.e., lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium) to 100 ppm. Sale of any product with packaging exceeding this content limit is prohibited in the State of California. [...]Read more

Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride – State of California’s 3rd Priority Product Proposed

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On November 16, 2017, the State of California’s DTSC proposed to add its third product-chemical combination to its priority products list for regulation under its green chemistry/safer consumer products rules.   We are all still waiting to see the first, or any product, undergo the voluminous data, reporting and analytical requirements of the regulations and it remains to be seen if any ever will.   The third product to be proposed is “paint or varnish strippers containing methylene chloride” defined as “any product designed to break down paint, varnish, or any other surface coating [...]Read more

New California Product Label and Internet Disclosure Requirements (and New Crime for Employers who Fail to Disclose) for Cleaning Products

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On October 15, 2017, California enacted SB 258 – the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (Cal. Health and Safety Code Sections 108950 et seq.) – that requires product label and on-line disclosure requirements or bans sale of cleaning products and creates a new crime for  employers who fail to make such disclosures to their employees. The new labeling and disclosure requirements apply to air care, automotive, polish or floor maintenance and other general cleaning products (e.g., soaps, detergents, fabric care).  It does not include certain cleaning products used in industrial [...]Read more

New Regulatory Hurdles Proposed for Hazardous Waste Facilities in California

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On September 22, 2017, DTSC commenced the public comment period for its proposed regulations to update the criteria for the issuance of hazardous waste facility permits and permit modifications pursuant to SB 673. The 70 pages of the proposed regulations are a radical departure from the permitting process of the past 25 years in California. In some respects, the burdens proposed are so high that one wonders if this portends the end of hazardous waste facilities in the state. On the positive side, this will have local EJ (environmental justice) communities cheering and it does present an enormous [...]Read more

California Air Resources Board New Draft Enforcement Penalty Policy

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Today, CARB held another workshop to explain its new draft enforcement penalty policy and the factors it will use in assessing penalties in future enforcement cases. The factors are qualitative and narrative and subjective, which is bad for business that craves certainty and predictability but fun for the art of lawyering (our quills are aquiver). An increasing problem for industry is that the reporting requirements under the climate change rules, such as diesel fleet, low carbon fuel and cap and trade, are becoming so voluminous and complex that it is easy to make honest errors in these reports. [...]Read more

New Regulatory Program for Cannabis Industry Proposed

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On April 28, 2017, the Bureau of Marijuana Control proposed 58 pages of a brand new regulatory program for the newly legalized marijuana industry. The Bureau will hold hearings on June 1, 2017 in Eureka, June 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, June 9, 2017 in Sacramento and June 13, 2017 in San Jose.   Written comments will be received until 5 pm on June 13, 2017. It is the first comprehensive regulatory framework of its type.   The regulations propose specific licensing, specifying the voluminous documentation and information required to be submitted to the State, specifying packaging, labeling, [...]Read more

Regulatory Attorneys – Ready Yourself for California’s “Track and Trace” Product Supply Chain Regulatory Regime: First product up, Marijuana Cannabis

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As close and jaded observers of the colliding worlds of environmental regulation, consumer product and global supply chain regulation sitting and toiling daily in the center of the world’s most talented, creative and aggressive government regulators (i.e., Sacramento, not DC) for the past 25 years, even we are in awe of what is proposed to regulate the newest legalized product in California – marijuana. Proposition 64 passed by in a voter initiative on November 8, 2016 and establishes a licensing and regulatory framework for legalized cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and sales. Last [...]Read more

Maybe 2018 will be the year we finally see how the California Safer Consumer Product Regulations will work in practice? Spray Polyurethane Foam may be first up at bat

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DTSC has released the rulemaking for its second selected “priority product” which is spray polyurethane foam systems with unreacted methylene diphenyl diicyanates. This is a product that is actually manufactured and sold in California and thus if adopted, the program’s regulatory requirements would attach to an actual entity. (As compared to the first “priority product” DTSC selected –see children’s foam-padded sleeping products   - which we understand no one actually makes or sells (and begs the question as to how the State of California could select it as a “priority”?) Makers [...]Read more