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The New Era in Greener and Safer Products

Date: 2/17/12

The American business community is faced with a new era of “safe product manufacturing” enforced by “Green Chemistry” laws and politically-inspired state public policy agendas.  What few realize is that the “future” of Green Chemistry is now the present, with California legislation on the verge of enactment and other states and the federal government pledging to follow.  You believe it won’t affect you?  Think again.

California’s infamous Proposition 65 regulations have long been on the books, and continue to be abused by the plaintiff bar and their front organizations.  The California Green Chemistry Initiative is no longer a mere hope for the future.  Under the current proposed regulations, which the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (“DTSC”) intends to make final in 2012, the state will publish a list of Chemicals of Concern (COCs) which is anticipated to include approximately 3,000 substances (including most of the over 800 chemicals already on the Proposition 65 Lists of Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Effects).  Once the list is published, it will require responsible entities (typically, manufacturers, distributors and importers) to notify the DTSC if their products contain a listed substance, and to prepare Alternatives Analyses (AA) as to how the presence of those chemicals will be reduced or eliminated.  These “cradle to grave” regulations are explicitly intended to influence the product design and manufacturing arenas, and can result in outright bans on the presence of offending products in California.

If you believe you can avoid this disastrous legislation and not sell into California, think again—again.  The U.S. EPA has pledged to back the current efforts and other states, including Washington, Connecticut, Maine, and Minnesota, as well as bordering Canadian provinces, are pursuing similar legislation.

You have the opportunity to get ahead of the proverbial eight ball and be proactive in your response to the ever-changing “Green World”.  Come and learn more about how you can protect your products and legal interests at the Litigation and Risk Management Summit in Las Vegas!

 

Article By:
Elizabeth McNulty, Partner
Hewitt Wolensky, LLP
emcnulty@hewittwolensky.com

 

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