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California not just dreamin’ about expanding Prop. 65 product-notice requirements

If a company makes, distributes, or sells consumer products—including food products—containing chemicals that might turn the leaves brown, proposed amendments to California’s Proposition 65 may saddle it with additional warning-notice requirements. Affected companies should respond not only by preparing to update their relevant product warnings, but also submitting comments on the state’s rulemaking while they still can.

Proposition 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning of possible exposure to the 900+ chemicals California has determined to cause …

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Pollution Factory Smoke in Air with Sky Bad for the Environment

California Enacts First of Its Kind Legislation Requiring Climate Emissions Information

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted into law two bills, both of which will — for the first time in any U.S. state — require large companies doing business within the state to release a wide array of climate emissions information. Specifically, on October 7, Newsom signed into law Senate Bills (SB) 253 and SB 261, which affect both private and public businesses and their accountability towards what carbon footprint they are making in the state and their climate-related financial risks.

These new …

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Three hydro- fracking derricks drilling natural gas on a plain

California Supreme Court Holds Local Ordinance Banning Oil and Gas Drilling Preempted by State Law

Last week, the California Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous ruling, struck down a Monterey County voter-approved local initiative that would have banned oil and gas drilling and imposed severe restrictions on oil and gas development in the county. In the court’s view, the local ordinance is preempted by state law and was struck down. The decision came in the case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey, S271869.

By way of background, back in 2016, Project Monterey Club, a local environmental …

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UCLA’s Environmental Law Clinic Weighs in on Berkeley Gas Case with New Amicus Brief

Following up on our April 21 post, the UCLA Environmental Law Clinic recently filed an amicus brief in the California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley litigation, joining multiple other governmental and non-governmental organizations asking the Ninth Circuit to take another look at its April 17 decision. The Ninth Circuit’s decision effectively overturned a lower federal district court’s ruling that revoked the City of Berkeley’s 2019 ban of natural gas infrastructure in newly constructed buildings. 

Authoring the brief were seven law professors from across the …

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Close-up side shot of hands shows microplastic waste contaminated with the seaside sand. Microplastics are contaminated in the sea. Concept of water pollution and global warming.

California Looks to Expand Regulation of Microplastics and PPD Derivatives

California has begun the public process for a potential regulatory proposal expanding the list of chemicals that may be regulated under its Safer Consumer Products Program (SCP). The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, has proposed adding microplastics and para-Phenylenediamine (PPD) derivatives to its Candidate Chemicals List (CCL) in an attempt to control their impact on human health and the environment.

PPD derivatives are a family of chemicals used in a variety of industrial applications. The only PPD derivative …

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Justice Scales and books and wooden gavel

New Ninth Circuit Ruling: City of Berkeley’s Gas Ban Preempted by U.S. Energy Policy & Conservation Act

On Monday, April 18, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley, overturning a lower federal district court’s ruling to revoke the City of Berkeley, California’s ban of natural gas infrastructure in newly constructed buildings.

Berkeley’s prohibition against natural gas was seen as the first city-level law aimed at forcing developers and building owners to switch to building all-electric new buildings. Berkeley’s Ordinance No. 7,672-N.S. was passed unanimously by Berkeley’s City Council in December 2019 …

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truck traffic

EPA Gives California Green Light to Hit the Brakes on Heavy Truck Emissions

California has been pushing hard recently to lose its status as the second-largest contributor of the nation’s greenhouse gases (still comfortably behind Texas.)

In 2020, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) enacted the Advanced Clean Trucks (“ACT”) rule, the world’s first zero-emissions commercial truck requirement. Specifically, ACT required large-capacity vehicle (truck) manufacturers to phase out gasoline and diesel trucks, which account for the largest single source of pollution in the world’s fifth-largest economy, by replacing them with ever-larger volumes of vehicles with zero emissions. By …

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Office of the Attorney General

PFAS ALERT: What Happens in California Won’t Likely Stay in California

In what has been earmarked as the largest government enforcement PFAS action to date, California’s attorney general last month filed an historic lawsuit against more than a dozen per-and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) manufacturers – as well as “John Doe” PFAS manufacturers – seeking equitable and financial relief for purported statewide pollution to the environment and harm its residents.

While there are thousands of PFAS compounds subject to scrutiny, the California AG’s lawsuit seeks damages related to only seven of the more commonly known compounds:  PFOA, …

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Key Corporate Climate Accountability Bill Fails to Pass in California

Despite California’s most recent, two-year legislative session ending on September 1 with a flurry of new bills aimed at fighting global warming getting passed, one noticeable bill failed to pass on the last day. Senator Scott Wiener’s S.B. 260, i.e., California’s Climate Corporate Accountability Act, died on the legislative floor by one vote. Co-authored by Senator Henry Stern, S.B. 260 would have been the nation’s first-ever mandatory requirement for large corporations to disclose their greenhouse emissions.

Had it been enacted, California’s legislation would have set …

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California Implements Legislation to Reduce Plastic Pollution and Extend Producer Responsibility Laws

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on June 30 a bill that aims to drastically cut single-use waste in the Golden State by shifting responsibility from consumers to the industry that produces it.  

The legislation, SB 54 — known also as ‘The Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act’ — will apply to almost every type of plastic packing you might see at a California grocery store or big box outlet.  

Acting as an extended producer responsibility law, SB 54 requires all single-use …

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