The Safer Consumer Products Regulation


Depending on one’s perspective, California’s Green Chemistry Initiative, with its vast array of burdensome requirements, trade secret concerns and potential to ban certain products, will either cause business to flee from California, or will simply be a non-burdensome continuation of what businesses are already doing to remove chemicals from their products. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle.

As the law initially ramps up over the next five years or so, with only a small number of products to be targeted, few businesses will be directly impacted. Over time, however, as more products are considered and the law gets woven into the fabric of the state’s regulatory environment, it is possible that 10, 15 or 20 years from now, the law will touch nearly every business and product in California within its reach, and may influence nationally the green chemistry landscape.

It took almost five years after the legislation was enacted, and almost three years after regulations were to have been in place, but on Oct. 1, the California Safer Consumer Products Regulation finally went into effect; however, that is just the start. In the short term, there will no doubt be lawsuits broadly challenging the regulations, and once the various stages of the law begin to be implemented and consequences become more apparent, further litigation directed at particular provisions of the regulations is sure to follow.

Originally published in The Recorder - November 13, 2013.

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