Proposition 65 Amendment Passes California Legislature

Posted: 09/13/2013  browse the blog archive

Assembly Bill 227 (AB227) passed the California Legislature on Wednesday and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.  AB227, introduced by Rep. Mark Gatto, will amend Proposition 65 to give certain businesses a 14-day “cure period” to remedy violations of the law without being subject to civil penalties.

Proposition 65, or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires companies to provide a clear and reasonable health hazard warning before exposing citizens to chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm.  AB227 was originally written to provide anyone receiving a 60-Day Notice of Violation of Proposition 65 with a 14-day period to remedy the violation without being subject to fines, but was later narrowed to focus on three specific exposures:

  • Exposures to alcoholic beverages, or to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm to the extent the chemical is formed on the alleged violator’s premises by necessary preparation of food or beverages which are sold on the alleged violator’s premises for immediate consumption; 
  • Exposures to environmental tobacco smoke caused by entry of persons (other than employees) on premises owned or operated by the alleged violator where smoking is permitted at any location on the premises; and
  • Exposures to chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm in engine exhaust, to the extent the exposure occurs inside a facility owned or operated by the alleged violator and primarily intended for parking noncommercial vehicles.

Gov. Jerry Brown has 30 days to sign or veto the bill.

The Chanler Group represents citizen enforcers who, acting in the public interest, commence actions against businesses offering products for sale in California that contain chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm without first providing the health hazard warning required by Proposition 65. Citizen enforcers bringing Proposition 65 actions in the public interest may obtain a Court Judgment imposing civil penalties, an injunction requiring reformulation of products, and/or provision of health hazard warnings. The Chanler Group has represented citizen enforcers of Proposition 65 for more than twenty years.