Reed Smith Client Briefings

When the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published updated warning regulations under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65) in August 2016, it provided businesses with a two-year compliance transition period.

Authors: Todd O. Maiden

CA State flag

The August 30, 2018, deadline for compliance with the updated Prop 65 regulations is fast approaching. Businesses need to start, if they have not already done so, to make modifications to their Prop 65 warnings and to:

  • coordinate with upstream vendors or downstream customers for the 800+ regulated chemicals in consumer products;
  • assess whether new occupational exposure warnings need to be posted in California facilities; and
  • determine whether “environmental warnings” (that fall outside of the above two categories) require changes such as the inclusion of a map identifying the area of exposure.

This client briefing highlights the major Prop 65 changes that businesses will need to comply with commencing August 30, 2018. In our experience, implementation of new Prop 65 warnings (especially for consumer products) takes a considerable amount of time and coordinated communications. We expect potential Prop 65 plaintiffs and their counsel will be scrutinizing consumer products and newspaper ad warnings beginning September 1, 2018, with an eye toward filing claims to collect quick damages or demand settlement language that goes beyond the state minimum standards. Businesses need to start now on implementing any necessary changes to ensure compliance with the updated regulations in order to avoid potential costly challenges and/or litigation.