PPAI Adds Its Voice To Prop 65 Revision Push-Back
PPAI has joined with the California Chamber of Commerce, Consumer Brands Association (CBA) and 116 coalition partners in a letter to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to comment on its proposed rulemaking that would amend Article 6 of the state’s Proposition 65, which is on clear and reasonable warnings. The coalition is pushing back against the proposed rulemaking as it upends warning requirements that went into effect just over two years ago and would place undue burdens on businesses.
The California Chamber of Commerce, CBA and several members of the coalition engaged OEHHA in a multi-year regulatory process which resulted in the repeal of Article 6 and the implementation of “long-form” and “short-form” warnings. These revisions were some of the most substantial amendments to Prop 65 in decades and OEHHA described them as providing “more certainty and confidence” to the business community in the new warning requirements. A two-year phase-in period was included because of the significant burdens making these changes imposed on businesses. In its letter, the coalition notes, “OEHHA now proposes to effectively undo that multi-year process and explode the promised certainty by proposing substantial changes to the Article 6 warning requirements that will require every business utilizing short-form warnings to redo their programs.”
The coalition calls on OEHHA to withdraw the proposed rulemaking amending Article 6’s short-form warning requirements. It notes that the changes would add uncertainty to the market, add liability to businesses and result in significant financial implications as they overhaul their Prop 65 compliance programs.
PPAI has also submitted a statement to OEHHA directly through during the proposed rulemaking’s public comment period. The Association noted, “OEHHA’s proposed changes to the Proposition 65 warning requirements are being presented just a short time after companies spent millions of dollars revamping their Proposition 65 warning initiatives to comply with the new requirements that went into effect on August 30, 2018. Those new requirements gave companies two options for complying with the newly updated regulations. Companies relied on those standards and dedicated countless resources to complying with the new regulations. Those efforts were based on the agency’s written feedback to the business community about sizing requirements, language and placement of the warnings.
“Just two years after the last round of significant Proposition 65 changes, OEHHA proposes to implement even more restrictive requirements, purportedly to rectify the problem of over-warning. Unfortunately, the proposed changes will not sufficiently address the over-warning problem, because apparently OEHHA based their reasoning for the new proposal on the incorrect belief that businesses are over-warning due to the short-form warning having been provided as an option. If OEHHA modifies the current Proposition 65 requirements, the results will involve additional financial effects and unavoidable legal liability for companies at a time when they are already struggling to survive the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.”