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 a warning when they knowingly and intentionally cause an exposure to a listed chemical, and prohibits the discharge of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. OEHHA’s newly proposed regulations are meant to address issues that have surfaced since the 1988 regulations went into effect. OEHHA states that its new regulations intend to clarify the relative responsibilities of manufacturers and others in the chain of distribution for providing warnings about products that are eventually sold at retail and would also make changes to the current “safe harbor” warning by furnishing more useful information to Californians about their exposures to listed chemicals and by giving more compliance assistance for affected businesses.

Written comments concerning the proposed new regulations were due to the OEHHA by January 25, 2016 and those comments have been posted. You may also be interested in reading prior posts that discuss these proposed regulations.

For more information concerning how Prop 65 and the new proposed regulations may affect you, please contact Maureen Gorsen or any other member of the Alston & Bird LLP Environmental, Land Use & Natural Resources Practice Team.