Tag Archive for: Green Chemistry Regulation

California DTSC Releases Public Comments on Informal Draft Green Chemistry Regulations

Green Chemistry Regulations:

The public comment for the latest informal draft version of California’s “Safer Consumer Product Regulations” closed on December 30, 2011.   On January 20, 2012, the implementing agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), posted the comments on its website.  DTSC received ninety submissions from a range of stakeholder interests.  More information about the regulations is available here.

US EPA and California DTSC Form Green Chemistry Partnership

Sustainable Products/Green Chemistry:

On January 12, 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced their Green Chemistry Partnership.  The agencies’ agreement is memorialized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines principles by which the agencies will cooperate to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products, create new business opportunities in the emerging safer consumer products economy, and reduce the burden on consumers and businesses struggling to identify what’s in the products they buy for their families and customers.

The agrement supposedly will allow DTSC and EPA to minimize duplication of effort and promote consistency in their assessment methodologies, potentially providing increased environmental protection. The agreement sets up a framework for the agencies to collaborate on Green Chemistry issues so that California’s innovative “Green Chemistry” program can grow.

Jim Jones, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention said:  “This partnership will build and harmonize common tools and practices used to conduct alternative assessments to promote safer products ….  These alternative assessments inform and speed the adoption of safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools, and workplaces, which produce significant environmental and economic benefits.”

In its press release, EPA said:  “The agreement represents a major advance for Californians looking to buy safer children’s toys, personal care products, household cleaners and other products. By shifting the question of an ingredient’s toxicity to the product development stage, concerns raised by … consumers can be addressed early on. The approach results in safer ingredients, and provides an opportunity for California industry to once again demonstrate its innovative spirit by making products that meet consumer demand throughout the world.”

EPA and DTSC signed the agreement in a ceremony at California’s Kaiser Permanente Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center in San Leandro. Kaiser Permanente is nationally recognized as an industry leader in safer products, using its purchasing power and a sustainability scorecard to press suppliers for safer chemicals in medical products. 

Reminder: Upcoming Workshop on California's Green Chemistry Regulations

Green Chemistry Regulations:

For readers interested in learning more about California’s latest revision of the so-called Green Chemistry Regulations, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is convening a public workshop on December 5, 2011, to discuss the latest proposal.  Details of the workshop are set out below.


DTSC: Green Chemistry Initiative

Please join us for the Workshop on Safer Consumer Product Regulations:

December 5, 2011

9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cal/EPA Headquarters Building

Byron Sher Auditorium

1001 “I” Street, 2nd Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814

As a reminder, if you have questions about the informal draft Safer Consumer Product regulations that you would like to have addressed at the workshop, please submit them via e-mail to gcregs@dtsc.ca.gov by November 28, 2011.  You may submit comments or questions in real time during the workshop and, as time allows, DTSC staff will read and respond to them aloud.  Submitting your questions in advance will ensure your questions will be addressed at the workshop.

Additionally, if you plan to speak at the workshop, please let us know by December 1, 2011, via e-mail at gcregs@dtsc.ca.gov.  Include in the e-mail: (1) affiliation, (2) subject of your comments/questions, and (3) the amount of time you are requesting.  This information will assist DTSC staff in planning the workshop and will place you in the speaker?s queue.  Please note, however, that DTSC cannot guarantee that each speaker will get the full amount of time requested. 

The December 5, 2011, Workshop Notice may be found at:


The regulations and other related documents may be found at:

http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/LawsRegsPolicies/Regs/SCPA.cfm  and http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SCPRegulations.cfm

Phil Moffat Will Participate on ABA Panel Concerning California's Green Chemistry Regulations

Green Chemistry Regulations:

Verdant is pleased to announce that Philip Moffat will participate on a “quick teleconference” program sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, titled California Dreaming, Reality, or Nightmare?  California’s New Paradigm in Chemicals and Products Regulation Is Coming to a Store Near You.”  The December 13, 2011, teleconference will discuss the substantially revised regulations recently proposed by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to implement AB 1879, a new California Green Chemistry Initiative law designed to “accelerate the quest for safer products” in the state.  In addition to discussing the law’s requirements and its implementation, the teleconference will provide both industry and public health perspectives. 

Other speakers include:

  • Philip Crowley, Assistant General Counsel, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Dr. Joseph Guth, UC Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry; and the Science and Environmental Health Network, Berkeley, CA
  • Dr. Jeff Wong, Chief Scientist, DTSC, Sacramento, CA
  • Ann Grimaldi, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, San Francisco, CA

There are two ways to participate in this program, either attending a host site location or individual dial-in.  Participation at a host site location is free of charge for ABA members, and $110 for non-members.  Registration with the host site contact is required, however.  The host sites are:

  • San Francisco, CA
    McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, 101 California St., # 41
    RSVP: Cynthia Kelly, (415) 267-4051 or ckelly@mckennalong.com
  • Washington, DC
    McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, 1900 K Street, NW
    RSVP: Debbie Leitner, (202) 496-7372, dleitner@mckennalong.com

The teleconference will begin promptly at 1:00 pm EasternTime, Tuesday, December 13, 2011, and last for 105 minutes.

  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time / 12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Central Time
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Mountain Time / 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time

Additional information about the teleconference is available here.

Reminder: Upcoming Meeting of California's Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry Regulations:

California’s Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP), the expert body established to advise the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on green chemistry and the regulation of consumer products, will convene in Sacramento on November 14 (all day) and 15 (morning only) to discuss the latest informal draft of the so-called Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) Regulations.  No agenda or other meeting materials have been publicly released at this time, but a copy of the informal draft regulations and related information is available here.

California Releases Informal Draft of the Revised Green Chemistry Regulations

Green Chemistry Regulations:

On Monday, October 31, 2011, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released an informal draft of its revised green chemistry regulations, the so-called “Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) Regulations.”  DTSC spent the last year further revising the regulations after some stakeholders decried the proposed final version released for public comment over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2010.  Public comments on the lastest informal draft are due by December 30, 2011.  The formal rulemaking process will begin in 2012.

On Monday DTSC also released a document setting out the most significant changes from the November 2010 version of the regulations. (For purposes of comparison, a summary of the November 2010 version is available here.)  It is clear that DTSC is envisioning a more robust program with shorter timelines and fewer exemptions, ultimately requiring more agency and private resources to implement without a clear benefit from doing so. In light of the poor state of California’s economy, and the relative weakness of the U.S. economy as a whole, one has to wonder why DTSC has chosen its proposed path. According to DTSC, the following are the most significant changes found in the current informal draft. 


(1) Many timeframes have been shortened and/or made more specific.

(2) Timing of initial Chemicals of Concern (COC) list — effective date of the regulations.

(3) Timing of initial Priority Products list — 6 months for the proposed list.

(4) Both the chemicals and products lists will be reviewed at least once every 3 years.

Chemical / Product Prioritization

(1) The regulations will establish an immediate robust (~3,000) list of COCs (which DTSC can add onto later), based on work already done by numerous authoritative bodies.

 (2) The list of hazard traits has been expanded to include all hazard traits and environmental and toxicological endpoints specified by OEHHA. Additionally, the universe of chemicals considered to be carcinogens and reproductive toxins is no longer limited to only those chemicals listed on a short list of lists.

(3) The regulations no longer limit the product categories that DTSC can consider when listing Priority Products during the first 5 years.

(4) Worker exposure has been added as a prioritization factor.

(5) The requirement for responsible entities to provide chemical and product information during the prioritization process has been eliminated. (DTSC will request this information and list anyone who does not provide the information on a Failure to Respond list.)

Alternatives Assessments

(1) The regulations expand the primary responsibility for compliance beyond the product producer to also include: (i) the person who controls the product design; and (ii) the U.S. importer.

(2) The alternatives assessment (AA) process is more specific and structured, but allows for flexibility.

(3) There is no requirement to fill information gaps during the AA — instead DTSC has the option to require this as a regulatory response.

(4) The third-party verification requirement for AAs has been eliminated — instead AAs are required to be conducted by a certified assessor. Also, DTSC will play a greater role in auditing AAs.


(1) The default de minimis level is 0.01% for chemicals with one of 9 specified hazard traits, and 0.1% for all other chemicals — DTSC can set a lower or higher de minimis level.

(2) The exemption for unintentionally-added chemicals has been eliminated. However, these chemicals are a consideration for setting a higher de minimis level.

(3) The “no exposure pathway” exemption has been eliminated. However, exposure potential will still be considered during the chemical/product prioritization process.

Readers wanting more information should check back for future posts on this development, as well as visit the DTSC website. In addition, there will be a public workshop on the draft proposal on December 5, 2011 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm in Sacramento. The Green Ribbon Science Panel also will dicuss the proposal at the Panel’s meeting on November 14 – 15, also in Sacramento.        

Reminder: Upcoming Meeting of the California Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry Regulations:

For readers interested in learning more about the development of California’s Green Chemistry Regulations – the “Safer Consumer Product Alternative Regulations” – the upcoming meeting of the Green Ribbon Science Panel may be of interest.  Details are set out below in the embedded announcement from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).  Enjoy!

DTSC: Green Chemistry Initiative

 The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will convene the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP) on Thursday, July 14, 2011, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PDT), and on Friday, July 15, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon (PDT) in Sacramento, California and via webcast. The public is invited to attend, and comments to the GRSP on agenda items are welcome.

 Meeting notice:


Meeting agenda:



Reminder: Upcoming Teleconferences for Subcommittees of the DTSC Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry Regulations:

Each of the three subcommittees of the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) Green Ribbon Science Panel will hold two teleconferences in June in preparation for the meeting of the entire Panel scheduled for July 14 and 15 in Sacramento.  Each teleconference will focus on an aspect of the alternatives assessment process required under the Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) Regulations still under development.

Members of the public and representatives of organizations are invited to attend and participate in the GRSP subcommittee meeting. The time allotted for individual public comments may be limited, depending on the number of individuals wishing to speak. Speakers are not required to identify themselves publicly.

Additional details are set out below.

#1: Alternative Assessment (as described in AB 1879)

This subcommittee will meet:

Subcommittee #1 members are:

  • Ken Geiser, Ph.D. (subcommittee chair)
  • Art Fong
  • Roger McFadden
  • Julia Quint
  • George Daston
  • Timothy Malloy
  • Ann Blake
  • Mike Wilson
  • Julie Zimmerman
  • Oladele Ogunseitan

#2: Tiered Alternatives Assessments

This subcommittee will meet:

Subcommittee #2 members are:

  • Jeff Wong DTSC Chief Scientist (subcommittee chair)
  • Kelly Moran
  • Richard Denison
  • Mike Kirschner
  • Richard Liroff
  • Meg Schwarzman
  • Anne Wallin
  • Bruce Cords

#3: Quality Assurance for Alternatives Assessments

This subcommittee will meet:

Subcommittee #3 members are:

  • Bill Carroll, Ph.D. (subcommittee chair)
  • Jae Choi
  • Dale Johnson
  • Joe Guth
  • Lauren Heine
  • Tod Delaney
  • Robert Peoples


Reminder: Upcoming Meeting of the DTSC Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry Regulations:

Quick reminder:  The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will convene the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP) on Thursday, May 5 in the afternoon, and Friday, May 6th, all day, 2011, in Sacramento, California and via webcast. The public is invited to attend and provide comments on agenda items.

This is the first meeting of the GRSP to discuss  the Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) Regulations since the California EPA announced on December 23, 2010, that it would ignore a statutory deadline and delay their adoption.  This is also the first full meeting of the GSRP since it decided on February 4, 2011, to reorganize itself into three subcommittees to improve its overall efficiency and the usefulness of its advice to DTSC.  The subcommittees have each met twice since their formation.   

A quick review of the agenda suggests this meeting could be quite lively.  Several hot-button topics in the SCPA Regulations are slated for discussion.  These include:  the regulation of de minimis and unintentionally-added chemicals; and the identification and prioritization of chemicals and products. 

Readers interested in the future of the SCPA Regulations should log in to the live webcast.  Although DTSC has in the past made available an archived version for those who were unable to attend, there’s no mention of making one available for this hearing. 

Meeting notice:


Meeting agenda:


Reminder: Upcoming Teleconferences and Meetings of the DTSC Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry:

Readers will recall that the Green Ribbon Science Panel convened on February 4, 2011 to discuss its role in advising DTSC on green chemistry matters.  During that call, the Panel agreed to arrange itself into three subcommittees to work on specific aspects of the Safer Consumer Product Alternative Regulations.  Below is an excerpt from the DTSC website describing each subcommittee and providing its upcoming teleconference schedule.  Also, the full Panel will convene in-person May 5 – 6, 2011. 

Although more focused attention by the Panel will be welcomed by some, the numerous teleconferences and meetings will make it incredibly difficult for stakeholders to remain actively engaged throughout the Panel’s deliberations.


GRSP Topic Subcommittees

The Green Ribbon Science Panel has formed three subcommittees to more deeply discuss issues related to DTSC’s Green Chemistry Program. The subcommittees will each meet via teleconference twice prior to the next scheduled meeting of the entire Panel (scheduled for May 5 and 6, 2011, in Sacramento). At that time, there will be a discussion of these issues by the entire GRSP. All GRSP subcommittee meetings are open to the public, and will include an opportunity for the public to make comments to the GRSP subcommittee.

Green Ribbon Science Panel Subcommittees

#1: Chemical Identification and Prioritization
(chaired by GRSP Co-Chair Ken Geiser, Ph.D.)

#2: Product Identification and Prioritization
(chaired by GRSP Co-Chair Debbie Raphael, M.A.)

#3: De Minimis and Unintentionally-Added Chemicals
(chaired by GRSP Co-Chair Bill Carroll, Ph.D.)

This subcommittee will meet:

  • April 4, 2011, from 9:30 to 12 noon Pacific Time. See the agenda and public notice.
  • April 13, 2011 (time and other details to be determined). 

This subcommittee will meet:

  • April 11, 2011 (time and other details to be determined).
  • April 19, 2011 (time and other details to be determined).

This subcommittee will meet:

  • April 6, 2011, from 9:30 to 12 noon Pacific Time. See the agenda and public notice.
  • April 18, 2011 (time and other details to be determined).

Subcommittee #1 members are:

  • Julia Quint, Ph.D.
  • George Daston, Ph.D.
  • Meg Schwarzman, M.D.
  • Julie Zimmerman, Ph.D.
  • Lauren Heine, Ph.D.
  • Art Fong, Ph.D.
  • Rich Liroff, Ph.D.
  • Tim Malloy, J.D.

Subcommittee #2 members are:

  • Bruce Cords, Ph.D.
  • Jae Choi, Ph.D.
  • Mike Kirschner
  • Scott Matthews, Ph.D.
  • Kelly Moran, Ph.D.
  • Dele Ogunseitan, Ph.D.
  • Julie Schoenung, Ph.D.
  • Roger McFadden
  • Mike Wilson, Ph.D.

Subcommittee #3 members are:

  • Ann Blake, Ph.D.
  • Tod Delaney, Ph.D.
  • Richard Denison, Ph.D.
  • Dale Johnson, Ph.D.
  • Bob Peoples, Ph.D.
  • Joe Guth, J.D., Ph.D.