Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed AB 1879 and SB 509, moving California on the path toward a comprehensive green chemistry program to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals in products and the environment.
AB 1879 establishes authority for the Department of Toxic Substances Control to develop regulations that create a process for identifying and prioritizing chemicals of concern and to create methods for analyzing alternatives to existing hazardous chemicals. It also allows DTSC to take certain actions following an assessment that range from “no action” to “restrictions or bans.”
The bill also establishes a science panel made up of experts to provide advice on scientific matters, chemical policy recommendations and implementation strategies, as well as ensuring implementation efforts are based on a scientific foundation. Moreover, it expands the role of the Environmental Policy Council, made up of the heads of all California Environmental Protection Agency boards and departments, to oversee critical activities related to the implementation of the green chemistry program.
SB 509 creates an online Toxics Information Clearinghouse, a web-based database, to increase consumer knowledge about the toxicity and hazards of thousands of chemicals used in California every day.