Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Learn about California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as "Proposition 65," Consumer Product Safety Commission chemical regulations, EPA's national chemical action plans, other state chemical regulation programs, and supply chain initiatives and their impact on your organization. Proposition 65 impacts all manufacturers of consumer products whose products are sold in the State of California. The most unusual aspect of Proposition 65 is that private citizens can enforce the statute and recover penalties and litigation costs, not just the state and local district attorneys.
Proposition 65 is an often overlooked law that requires companies to notify consumers if a product contains a chemical on the Proposition 65 list (even if experts agree the product is safe), and failure to do so can result in the company being liable for significant penalties and attorneys fees. Many license and sales agreements require licensees and manufacturers to be "in compliance with all applicable laws." Proposition 65 is responsible for many companies being accused of violating their license or sales agreements. Proposition 65 settlements can range from thousands to millions of dollars, and Proposition 65 claims usually are not covered by insurance. In addition, there are over 350 individual state laws that regulate chemicals in consumer products. EPA also is creating a "hit list" of chemicals that it would like to ban. Several large retailers are imposing chemicals restrictions in the products they sell, so suppliers need to be aware of these requirements too.
Our environmental attorneys have counseled many companies regarding compliance with current chemicals regulations and have helped them gain competitive advantages by staying ahead of the wave of new requirements.
John W. Carroll
William J. Walsh