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Great For Lawyers; Terrible For California; A Nightmare For Manufacturers: Introducing “Green Chemistry”

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The road to manufacturing Hell is paved with…well Green Chemistry regulations.

Lost amid the intense focus on the CR, the debt limit and various other stories of mayhem and strife, the Golden State officially entered its Green Chemistry era on Tuesday.  Sample of the roll-out pr:

The law represents a sea change in how products are made safer. Instead of trying to determine how toxic specific chemicals are, it asks why they are necessary at all.

Instead of banning specific chemicals from particular products, such as bisphenol A in baby bottles, they are looking at classes of products.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control has prepared a list of about 1,200 toxic chemicals by aggregating authoritative sources. The next step is to develop a list of about 200 products that contain chemicals of greatest concern — that pose the most danger to health and/or the environment.

By April, they will select up to five “priority products” for manufacturers to reformulate into safer products using green chemistry.

If manufacturers wish to sell those products in California, they must perform a detailed analysis that either justifies their current formulation or results in a safer alternative. The impact will be widespread — across global supply chains of manufacturers. The lifecycle evaluation will be based not only on risk during product use, but also during manufacture and disposal.

More here from the Los Angeles Times.

I have been and remain too deeply immersed in CR/Debt Limit to study the roll-out of the rules, but I will catch up with my law partner Liz McNulty next week who lives and breathes this stuff and will update the audience.  Suffice it to say that California just added another layer of cement on the grave of manufacturing (and sales!) in the state.  It starts with finger polish (so the reporters say) and it ends with everything.  Truly astonishing.  What this state could be without the DTSC, the AQMD, the CARB and a dozen other agencies whose original missions, long complete, had been accompanied by a sunset date.



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