Category Archives: State Policy/Programs

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 That proposal was repealed and replaced with new proposed regulations [...]Read more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

CARB Releases Draft of Updated AB32 Scoping Plan

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the public discussion draft for the update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan. The Scoping Plan focuses on the comprehensive efforts that the state must take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The draft update examines three questions: What progress has been made over the last five years? What is needed to continue on the course to meet the goals by 2020? And What steps are required to meet the state’s climate goals for after 2020? In terms of the progress the state has made to date, the discussion draft finds that [...]Read more

New Contract to Make Carbon Trading Easier?

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Many of the covered entities under California’s cap-and-trade program have unveiled a new agreement that would standardize secondary trades of carbon allowances and offsets in the cap-and-trade market. The agreement was developed by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and incorporates ideas and expertise from some of the largest firms operating under the California carbon market. The “California Emissions Trading Master Agreement” (CETMA) deals “with a number of secondary market trading issues specific to California’s unique AB32 compliance market, including offset [...]Read more

CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Lives to Breathe Another Day

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Ninth Circuit rejects District Court’s conclusion that California Air Resources Board’s low carbon fuel standard violated dormant Commerce Clause and remands for additional proceedings. Citing a state’s ability to experiment with regulation, the Ninth Circuit determined that the low carbon fuel standard was not an impermissible extraterritorial regulation, and remanded to the District Court to consider whether the ethanol provisions discriminate in purpose or effect. “States may not mandate compliance with their preferred policies in wholly out-of-state transactions, but [...]Read more