California Signs New PFAS Laws Regulating Children’s Products and Food Packaging

On October 5, 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two laws further restricting the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Often referred to as “forever chemicals,” California will now ban such compounds in many children’s products and in disposable food packaging.

One of California’s new PFAS laws (AB 652) will bar the use of PFAS in the manufacture of children’s products, including car seats, pillows, bassinets, changing pads, playmats, bouncers, walkers, strollers, and cribs. On and after July 1, 2023, this law prohibits a …

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CA Department of Insurance Takes Aggressive Action to Help Mitigate Against Climate Change Environmental Risks

In recent years, the effects of climate change have greatly impacted many California residents. Climate change events are a growing concern along the West Coast, where property development has greatly increased the number of risks exposed to wildfires. Among other challenges, Californians are struggling with higher insurance costs due to climate change impacts.

In response to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s climate insurance law, Senate Bill 30, Chapter 614, Statutes of 2018, which formed a group of environmental advocates, researchers and insurance experts, the California …

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California Permanently Calls it Quits on Fracking

One day after Earth Day 2021, California, a state that is routinely—if somewhat surprisingly—among the top five states for oil production, placed a moratorium on new hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by 2024 and the complete end to oil extraction in the state by 2045.

Fracking, the process of extracting oil or natural gas from the earth by using certain chemicals in proportion with large amounts of water to ‘fracture’ rock formations to release crude oil and natural gas, only accounts for up to one fifth of …

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California Aims for Big Businesses to Stop the Burning

In a new bid to stop the onslaught of climate-related crises, including successive, record-setting wildfire seasons, increased flooding, and paradoxically increased and more frequent droughts, the California legislature has seized on a new initiative: corporate accountability.

Senate Bill 260, or “The Climate Corporate Accountability Act,” would apply to both publicly-traded and private corporations making more than $1 billion per year doing business in California. If adopted, it will require the approximately 5,000 companies to which it would apply to log every single element of their …

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Golden State’s Governor Takes Bold Measures in Effort to Combat Climate Change; Issues Ban On Gas-Powered Cars

As an unprecedented amount of wild fires continue to ravage the state of California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-79-20 on September 23, 2020, banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035—an aggressive attempt to combat the effects of climate change.

The order recognizes that bold action is needed to eliminate emissions from transportation, which is the largest source of carbon emissions in the state. The order also notes that zero emissions technologies reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and toxic air pollutants, and …

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Does This Mean My Trucker Hat is Cool Again? CARB Enacts First Mandate for Implementation of Zero-Emission Trucks in the U.S.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a rule on June 25, 2020, setting a deadline of 2045 for all trucks sold in California to be zero-emission models. The rule is the first of its kind in the United States. Globally, the rule represents one of the most ambitious efforts to date to replace diesel trucks with battery-powered and other zero-emission vehicles.

“It is clear this is the first of its kind in the world,” said California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols. “It’s part …

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States Bring WOTUS Rule Back to Court

The state of California continued its crusade against the Trump Administration this month, filing a lawsuit against the U.S. EPA, challenging the agency’s replacement for the defunct 2015 Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS). Sixteen other states joined the lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California. The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) as used in the Clean Water Act has been disputed for …

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We Need to Talk … It’s Not Me, It’s You: EPA Accuses California of Worsening Environmental Issues

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has accused California of “failing to meet its obligations” to protect the environment, claiming that the state’s growing homeless population threatens its water quality. In an oversight letter, Administrator Wheeler charged California officials with failing to meet federal health standards in numerous communities where large homeless populations litter the streets with trash, drug paraphernalia and human waste. The letter went on to argue that California’s focus on global warming has come at the expense of more basic environmental protections. Specifically, the …

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California v. Trump Administration Round LX: California and EPA War Over Vehicle Emission Standards

The Trump administration’s ongoing war with California over environmental standards has now reached a fever pitch. On September 19, 2019, the EPA announced that it will revoke the Clean Air Act waiver historically granted to California, which has allowed the state to set its own auto emission standards. The next day, California and 23 other states filed suit against EPA challenging the revocation.

The EPA’s stated goal is to reduce the regulatory burden on automakers by implementing a single national standard for emissions. However, the EPA’s move may …

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$2 Billion Glyphosate Verdict Weed Whacked To $86.7 Million

On July 25, 2019, Judge Winifred Smith of the Alameda County, California Superior Court reduced a $2 billion judgment entered by a jury against Monsanto Company, holding that the damages award was unconstitutionally high. The damages award was the third against the Bayer AG subsidiary in cases regarding whether popular herbicide Roundup causes Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The court reduced the judgment to $86.7 million.

The court held that there was clear and convincing evidence that Monsanto committed malice, oppression, or fraud. Specifically, the evidence showed that …

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