ACA Comments on Eighth Draft of California Safer Consumer Products Regulations

Comments followed ACA and California Paint Council testimony at hearing on draft regulations which focused on the extended producer responsibility section of the regulations.

The American Coating Asociation submitted comments in October to California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control  on the agency’s eighth draft of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations, or “green chemistry” regulations.

The comments followed ACA staff, and California Paint Council testimony at a Sept. 10 hearing on California’s draft regulations which, given the limited time for testimony, focused on the extended producer responsibility section of the regulations.

ACA’s written comments — the latest in several rounds — were extensive and addressed a myriad of concerns, ranging from the protection of confidential business information to the identification of chemicals of concern.

DTSC, on July 27, released the formal draft of its Safer Consumer Products Regulations, which are designed to spur manufacturers to identify safe substitutes for chemicals of concern found in consumer products. The drafted regulations are the eighth iteration issued in the past four years. California’s Green Chemistry Initiative seeks to reduce the amount of “toxics” in consumer products, under a regulatory program enacted by law in 2008. Under California’s A.B. 1879, the regulations must provide a science-based approach for building a list of chemicals that pose the greatest risks, for identifying products that contain the chemicals, and for analyzing safer alternatives.

The regulations would establish a list of chemicals of concern expected to number approximately 1,200; identify an initial list of up to five “Priority Products” that contain one or more chemicals of concern; require manufacturers that produce or sell the priority products in California to identify potential alternatives and conduct an alternatives assessment using a process and criteria described in the proposal; and require manufacturers to produce a report detailing their findings and proposed next steps to DTSC. The department would then review that analysis, and determine and publish for comment its proposed regulatory response. These could be actions such as chemical use restrictions, sales prohibitions, or engineering or administrative controls. After receiving public comment on the proposed regulatory response, the department would notify the manufacturer or manufacturers of the regulatory response or responses, and the implementation dates by which manufacturers would have to comply with those decisions. If the department determines that a safer, “functionally acceptable and technologically and economically feasible” alternative to the chemical of concern is available, that alternative must be used within one year. Manufacturers, upon failing to comply, could be prohibited from selling priority products with chemicals of concern in question.