Reporting Anna Duckworth
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The California Environmental Protection Agency announced new proposals to reform a decades-old public health law that helped inform consumers about chemicals used in consumer products.
Proposition 65, passed by California voters in 1986, motivated businesses to reduce or eliminate the use of harmful chemicals, but the goal is now to amend the legislation to make it more effective.
The head of the state agency said the law already prohibits businesses from knowingly discharging toxic substances that can get into drinking water sources and requires businesses to warn customers about the presence of such chemicals in anything they sell.
California EPA Secretary Matthew Rodriguez said it’s been a success in many ways but changes are needed.
“Governor Brown has made it a priority to lessen the burden imposed by state regulations whether it has little or no public benefit,” he said.
Rodriguez added that they’ve evaluated Prop 65 in that light and that they want to put an end to abusive lawsuits that can cost businesses thousands of dollars, reevaluate when a warning about reproductive harm would be necessary and look at how warnings are provided.
“We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve walked into a parking garage or a restaurant and we’ve seen a sign warning us that the facility contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm, but they don’t provide any additional information.”
There is no timeline for when an amendment might be introduced. It would require two-thirds approval in the state legislature.
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