Green Chemistry - California
McKenna Long & Aldridge’s (MLA) environmental attorneys, with profound experience in existing and emerging chemical and product management regimes, help businesses navigate through the policy, legal and business implications and effects of this new California regulatory paradigm.
The key components of the Initiative are the foundation of current and future legislative and regulatory packages. Implemented by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), they will present strategic challenges to entities whose products enter California commerce. MLA attorneys and professionals are eminently qualified to assist businesses in meeting the following challenges:
- Accelerate the quest for safer products. AB 1879, along with SB 509, comprises the first legislative package of the Initiative. Focusing on “consumer products,” the law requires DTSC to develop regulations to create a process for identifying and prioritizing chemicals of concern in consumer products and to create methods for assessing safer alternatives to such chemicals. It also authorizes DTSC to take a range of actions following the safer alternatives assessment that range from "no action" to "restrictions or bans" of chemicals in consumer products. Ultimately, entities which place products in California commerce will be required to present a scientific defense to their products’ ingredients and manufacturing processes - or be required to implement “safer alternatives.” Significantly, “consumer products” is defined broadly to include, for example, even the sale of bulk chemicals in California. Entities which do not ordinarily consider themselves in the consumer product business will be affected by this law.
- Create an online toxics clearinghouse. SB 509 requires DTSC to establish, by January 1, 2012, a web-based Toxics Information Clearinghouse for the collection, maintenance, and distribution of specific chemical hazard traits and environmental and toxicological end-point data. The Clearinghouse will challenge industry on many fronts, including protection of confidential business information and the generation of new data.
- Create an online product ingredient network. With this component, intended to allow product information to flow freely through the supply chain, entities whose products enter California commerce would be required to disclose their product ingredients. Like SB 509, any legislation requiring product ingredient information will present significant business and legal challenges to the regulated community.
- Develop Green Chemistry workforce education and training, research and development, and technology transfer. This component is intended to enrich California’s new chemical and product regulation policy by introducing green chemistry principles at all levels of education, funding green chemistry research and development, and encouraging public-private collaborations.
- Expand pollution prevention and product stewardship programs. DTSC’s pollution prevention programs will be expanded and modified to create further incentives for the development of “green” products.
- Move toward a cradle-to-cradle economy. By leveraging market forces, consumers and retailers will drive continuous product improvement and innovation. Green “scorecards” will provide the metric by which to measure such improvements across product lines and competitors.
MLA sits at the intersection of law, public policy and science. MLA attorneys, with scientific support from its wholly-owned subsidiary, Technology Sciences Group Inc. (TSG), are experienced in conducting defensible chemical and product assessments. Our deep experience with Proposition 65, TSCA and other chemical management laws is directly applicable to the intricacies presented by compliance with the Initiative’s current and future legislation. Our deep experience with the protection of proprietary and confidential business information, particularly in the context of release of pesticide data, make our practitioners eminently suited to advise clients on such matters and to defend confidential business information.
MLA has succeeded in establishing productive collaborations and partnerships between clients and public funding agencies, and is well-positioned to assist clients seeking “green chemistry” partnership opportunities in California.
- April 12, 2013On April 10, 2013, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) released further changes to the proposed Safer Consumer Products (“SCP”) Regulations, with a 15-Day comment period ending at 5:00 p.m. April 25, 2013.
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