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Where the Law and the Environment Connect. Tox of the Town is a blog written by attorneys in Greenberg Glusker’s Environmental Law Group. With years of legal, technical, and business know-how experience, we look forward to providing our readers with timely updates on environmental issues. Subscribe to our blog today to receive updates on changing environmental laws, regulatory and compliance issues, ongoing litigation, and more.

Will Makeup Get a Makeover?: Titanium Dioxide in Cosmetics

Titanium dioxide was added to the California Proposition 65 ("Prop. 65") list in 2011 due to its classification as a cancer-causing agent, when present as "airborne, unbound particles of respirable size." Nevertheless, titanium dioxide has continued to serve as a key ingredient in many consumer products, including powdered cosmetics products. In...
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Yolo County Ruling: First CEQA Process Streamlined Under SB 149

California took a significant step in streamlining the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process with the passage of SB 149, a law that allows the California Governor to certify certain infrastructure projects for judicial fast-tracking.  The law requires courts to decide CEQA challenges to certified projects within 270 days...
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It’s Raining Stormwater NOVs in California - 7 Tips For Responding To An IGP NOV

Responding to a California General Industrial Storm Water Permit (IGP) NOV can be a complex matter. Read the full article on Facility Executive for tips we’ve developed to facilitate success. Excerpt:  After many years of drought, in late 2023 and early 2024 California experienced significant rain. Indeed, the National Oceanic...
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US EPA Designates Two PFAS Compounds as "Hazardous Substances" Under CERCLA

It's finally happened. The US Environmental Protection Agency has designated two widely used PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS, as "hazardous substances" under CERCLA. PFAS are man-made chemicals used for decades and found in many different commercial, industry, and consumer products. EPA's designation will have far-reaching liability implications. In a...
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USEPA Announces Final Drinking Water Standards for Six PFAS

In much anticipated news for followers of PFAS, or so-called "forever chemicals," USEPA announced today final, enforceable drinking water standards (MCLs) for six PFAS, including PFOS and PFOA at 4 parts per trillion. EPA "expects that over many years the final rule will prevent PFAS exposure in drinking water...
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Update: SEC Voluntarily Stays Climate Regulations

On April 4, 2024, rather than waiting for the Eighth Circuit to issue a ruling on plaintiffs’ pending emergency motion for an administrative stay of the SEC’s final rule regarding the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors , the SEC opted to issue its own stay , preventing...
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CARB and the Attorney General Defend California's Groundbreaking Climate Change Disclosure Laws in Court

As previously posted , in a landmark legal challenge, a coalition led by prominent business federations is challenging California's pioneering climate disclosure laws, Senate Bill 253 (the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act) and Senate Bill 261 (the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act). These laws mandate unprecedented disclosure of climate-related financial...
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California's Climate Disclosure Mandates Face Legal Challenges

In a landmark legal challenge, a coalition led by prominent business federations is challenging California's pioneering climate disclosure laws, Senate Bill 253 (the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act) and Senate Bill 261 (the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act). These regulations mandate unprecedented disclosure of climate-related financial risks and greenhouse gas emissions...
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What to Know About the Recent OEHHA Hearings

The California Proposition 65 short-form warning saga continues. We authored articles in both Bloomberg Law and Corporate Compliance Insights to discuss what businesses should know from the recent California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) hearings.  California's Proposition 65 short-form warning changes proposed by OEHHA could significantly affect...
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Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act - What Companies Need to Know

Beginning on December 29, 2023, the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MOCRA) became effective. Signed into law on December 29, 2022, MoCRA significantly expands the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to regulate cosmetic products and related businesses by adding section 607 to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic...
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Eco-Friendly Marketing Claims Face Scrutiny by State Lawmakers

In today's eco-conscious world, consumers are showing a growing preference for environmentally responsible companies. In a recent Bloomberg article, I spoke with staff correspondent Brenna Goth to discuss the importance of companies being truthful and cautious when making environmental benefit claims in their marketing efforts. My quotes are featured below. ...
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OEHHA Proposes Sweeping Changes to California’s Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

On October 27, 2023, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the lead California regulatory agency tasked with implementing California’s Proposition 65, proposed significant changes to the Proposition 65 warning requirements that may impact businesses’ Proposition 65 compliance strategy. In particular, OEHHA is once again considering changes to the...
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Wildfires and its Implications for Companies

As the world grapples with the increasing impact of climate change, one pressing issue is the management of air quality in the workplace. In a recent CNBC article, I spoke with reporter Cheryl Winokur Munk to discuss the importance of companies understanding the regulations and best practices surrounding air...
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Supreme Court Narrows EPA’s Authority to Protect Wetlands under Clean Water Act

In a highly anticipated and consequential decision, the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate an estimated half of the nation’s wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The May 2023 ruling in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency could mean that millions of acres...
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EPA Issues Historic Rules on Drinking Water

In an unprecedented move, the federal government proposed strict new rules limiting the presence of a class of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or “PFAS,” in the nation’s drinking water – a decision that could impact nearly all Americans. While PFAS chemicals are ubiquitous in consumer goods...
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The EPA's New Enviro Site Assessment Standard: Key Points

On Dec. 15, 2022, after a yearlong wait, the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  took final action to approve the new  ASTM International  standard for conducting Phase I environmental site assessments, officially known as ASTM E1527-21, "Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process." This action...
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What is Greenwashing?

In a recent webinar, "Greenwashing and its Dirty Consequences," I spoke about what greenwashing is, some examples, types of claims, and referencing the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides for guidance.  What is greenwashing? That is the question of the day. There is not one regulatory definition of what greenwashing...
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California’s Proposition 65: New “Safe Harbor” Warning Option for Acrylamide

Acrylamide, a Proposition 65-listed substance that naturally forms in the cooking and heating of many plant-based foods, has been the focus of regulatory and court action over the past few years. As we previously reported , there is currently an injunction preventing Prop 65 enforcers from filing or prosecuting...
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California Air Resources Board Approves 2022 Scoping Plan

As we reported previously , the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has taken a highly anticipated vote on its final proposed plan for addressing climate change. CARB unanimously approved the 2022 Scoping Plan at a public meeting on December 15, 2022, thereby adopting an unparalleled blueprint for tackling climate change...
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At Last - EPA Approves the New ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

On December 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took final action to approve the new ASTM International standard for conducting Phase I environmental site assessments. As previously noted , ASTM adopted the revised standard, officially known as ASTM 1527-21, last year. The revised standard represents best practices for...
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Not Just Hot Air: California Ramps Up Climate Goals

California is demonstrating that its promises on climate change are not just hot air; they’re a policy priority for the State that will require groundbreaking action. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is rolling out its proposed final 2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality (Scoping Plan). According to...
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Update on California’s Regulation of PFAS – Governor Newsom Vetoes AB 2247

Last month, we reported regarding recent actions taken by the California Legislature in the regulation of per – and polyfluoralkyl substances (“PFAS”).  By way of background, PFAS are man-made chemicals used for decades and found in many different commercial, industry, and consumer products such as non-stick cookware and water...
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50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act and What the Future Holds

This week, I spoke to Bobby Magill at Bloomberg Law about the 50 th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Fifty years ago, Congress overrode a Presidential veto to enact the Clean Water Act, ushering in a sea change in the way we address water resources in this...
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ASTM Adopts a New Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

Environmental Partner, Sedina Banks, published "ASTM Adopts a New Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard" in the Fall 2022 issue of NAIOP's  Development Magazine.  In her article, she discusses the revisions made to ASTM's Phase I environmental site assessment standard and how it will affect commercial real estate transactions. Sedina...
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Recent Developments in the Regulation of PFAS

In response to the growing concern regarding per – and polyfluoralkyl substances (“PFAS”), the federal government and California have taken recent actions to regulate PFAS.   By way of background, PFAS are man-made chemicals used for decades and found in many different commercial, industry, and consumer products such as non-stick...
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Here at Last! DTSC’s 2022 Vapor Intrusion Advisory

Last month, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) issued its long-awaited “Vapor Intrusion Update” (“Advisory”) which is intended to guide the selection of attenuation factors (“AFs”) at contaminated sites overseen by DTSC. For folks frantically Googling the term “attenuation factors,” I’ll save you some time: attenuation factors are...
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California’s Supreme Court Opens Gates to Prop. 65 Lawsuits Against Amazon.com

Last month, the California Supreme Court created some e-commerce waves when it declined to review a Court of Appeals decision allowing California Proposition 65 (“Prop. 65”) lawsuits against retail giant Amazon.com. The decision arguably allows customers to sue Amazon.com and similar e-commerce companies for failing to warn buyers that products...
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Who is Subject to California's Proposition 65 Warning Requirements?

Environmental Law Partner, Sedina Banks, presented a webinar "California’s Proposition 65: Background, Compliance, and Strategy" to members of the Association of Corporate Counsel - Southern California and the International Society of Primerus Law Firms. In this video clip, she discusses who is subject to California’s Proposition 65 warning requirements.
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