Category Archives: State Policy/Programs

CARB Launches Rulemaking for Heavy-Duty Engine Low NOx Standard

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On November 3, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced plans for a new low-nitrogen oxide (NOx) standard for heavy-duty engines sold in the state.  CARB intends to adopt the new NOx standard—of 0.02 grams per brake horse power-hour (g/bhp-hr)—in 2019.  This standard would apply beginning with 2023 model year engines sold in California.  CARB stated that this new rulemaking will combine amendments to: The heavy-duty engine NOx standards, including a low load certification cycle; The Not-to-Exceed in-use compliance program; The useful life and durability requirements [...]Read more

Prop 65 Warning Regulations Adopted

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Today, September 2, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published its notice of adoption of amendments to Prop 65 - essentially overhauling Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, Article 6, which governs the warning requirements of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act The new regulations are not effective until August 30, 2018. In the interim, businesses have the option of complying either with the current regulation, or the provisions of the new regulation. OEHHA has published a side-by-side comparison of the newly adopted [...]Read more

CSB Report calls for Preventative Inspections at Petroleum Refineries, Bolstering EPA and OSHA Efforts

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Chemical and Safety Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued a report calling for preventative inspections at petroleum refineries to prevent accidents and injuries.  The report highlights the value of robust, preventative inspections and proactive regulators in minimizing process safety incidents.  CSB, through the report, calls on California regulators to conduct preventative inspections and analyze facilities’ process safety history, including “near misses.”  CSB also calls for California to require refineries to report process safety indicators.  The conclusions [...]Read more

California – New Prop 65 Product Label Requirements Likely to be Adopted

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Today, May 17, 2016, OEHHA released a second set of revisions to its proposed regulations to change the warning labeling requirements for Prop 65.  This is the first major change to the words required on product labels and shelf signs and catalogues selling products into California in several decades.  OEHHA has been working on these warning wording and method changes since 2013.  The most recent proposal commenced in November 2015, and has gone through several public comment periods and revisions.  Today’s May 17th revision is probably the last set of revisions before adoption.  Comments [...]Read more

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

Bipartisan TSCA Reform Bill Sails Through House

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Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576) with a near-unanimous vote of 398-1. The bipartisan bill now heads to the Senate, where a competing bill (S. 697) advanced last month. Lawmakers will have to resolve key differences between the bills before sending to President Obama. H.R. 2576 would update the 40-year old Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time. The bill’s key provisions remove cost as a factor in EPA’s chemical safety assessments, afford EPA more power to order new chemical safety data, and aim to create a more uniform [...]Read more

White House Set to Release Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

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President Barack Obama is expected to release rules that will put a cap on carbon emissions from existing power plants on June 2. The rules will likely provide many contentious issues. One to keep an eye on is how states handle the rules as they will likely be tasked with developing and implementing programs that comply with EPA guidelines. Another potential issue is how far the rules actually go to cap the greenhouse gas emissions. Will the owners of the power plants keep them open, retrofit them or close them based on how far the emissions limits go. Legal and congressional challenges will [...]Read more

Longtime Congressman Henry Waxman to Retire

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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will retire after four decades of serving the country as a member of Congress. Waxman served as a leader for the Democratic party on many health and environmental issues over the four decades, including: universal health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, cost of generic drugs, tobacco regulation, air and water quality standards, pesticide regulation, and climate change efforts. His leadership efforts earned him the spot of Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee from January 2009 – January 2011. If you asked Republicans, they would say Rep. Waxman [...]Read more

States and Canadian Province Agree to Climate Pact

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The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have signed a climate pact with British Columbia in an effort to combat climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement calls for the four governments to work together in an effort to put a price on carbon dioxide pollution, requiring the use of lower-carbon gasoline, and setting more goals to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their region. The agreement will allow the governments to develop the same greenhouse gas emissions targets for 2050, and develop near-term targets that will help them reach the long-term goals. Part [...]Read more