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 repellent clothing. PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not readily breakdown. PFAS are found in the soil, groundwater, and air across the United States. Studies suggest that PFAS exposure may result in adverse health effects in humans and animals.
On August 30, 2022, the California legislature passed AB 2247. The law would require manufacturers to collect information on and publicly disclose products or product components containing PFAS that are sold or imported into California. Under the law, manufacturers would have to publicly register such products on or before July 1, 2026. Subsequently, they would have to register products sold or imported into the state during the prior calendar year by July 1 of each year. The California law defined “manufacturer” broadly to include entities that “import” the PFAS-containing products or are the “first domestic distributer of the product in the state.”
Manufacturers are off the hook for now. Governor Newsom vetoed AB 2247, stating in his veto statement that the bill may be “premature” given other regulatory efforts undertaken by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Governor Newsom also cited AB 2247’s significant fiscal cost, “estimated to cost millions of dollars that would result in increased Environmental Fee rates or General Fund resources for the new contract, staff support, and state oversight responsibilities.” In light of these costs, Governor Newsom cited the importance of remaining “disciplined when it comes to spending” because of California “facing lower-than-expected revenues over the first few months of this fiscal year.”