Environmental Law Portal

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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 15 posts by Gary J. Smith.

New California Proposition 65 Warning Regulations Take Effect August 30th

In less than two months the safe harbor warning regulations for California’s Proposition 65 will be amended and operative, ending a two-year phase in period.  As we have covered previously, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA’s) final amendments to the Proposition 65 regulations revise the clear and reasonable safe harbor warnings and it is important for businesses to be prepared.[1] Read More ›

California Appeals Court Upholds State’s Reliance On Conclusion By A Foreign Agency To Classify Glyphosate As “Cancer-Causing”

Two courts recently examined California’s regulation of glyphosate, a widely used pesticide ingredient, for its alleged health risks via the state’s Proposition 65 warning program. The decisions are noteworthy for the contrasting approaches that they take with respect to the amount of deference to give to international regulatory actions that are incorporated by reference into U.S. law. Read More ›

West Coast “Super Tort” PCB Suits Have Staying Power

Increasingly, municipalities and states are pursuing public nuisance theories against product manufacturers and distributors.  Actions filed by West Coast municipalities and states over the past three years against PCB-manufacturer Monsanto have proven to have surprising staying power. Read More ›

New Proposition 65 Regulation Amendments Modify Clear and Reasonable Warning Requirements and Private Enforcement Settlement Provisions

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the California Attorney General each adopted regulatory amendments to the Proposition 65 regulations at the close of August 2016. The OEHHA amendments modify Article 6 of Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, which sets forth the method and content deemed to be clear and reasonable for Proposition 65 warnings. The California Attorney General amendments (AG Amendments) modify the Proposition 65 private enforcement regulations and affect settlement terms, penalty amounts and attorney’s fees in actions brought by private plaintiffs. Read More ›

OEHHA Issues Additional Modifications to Proposition 65 Article 6: Clear and Reasonable Warning Requirements

On March 25, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released a Notice of Modification to Text of the Proposed Repeal and Adoption of a New Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warning Requirements (“Article 6”) (“March 25 Modifications”).  The March 25 Modifications include: clarifying language regarding the means by which responsibility for providing a warning transfers from a manufacturer, producer, packager, importer, supplier or distributor to a retail seller, and modifications to the method and content of safe harbor warnings. Read More ›

California Attorney General Proposes Proposition 65 Amendments To Address Litigation Abuse

On September 25, 2015, the California Office of the Attorney General published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the regulations implementing the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (“Proposition 65”) (“AG Amendments”).  The AG Amendments would affect settlement terms, attorney’s fees and penalty amounts in civil actions filed by private plaintiffs (a.k.a. “Private Enforcers”).  The Attorney General’s proposal also aims to provide increased transparency and judicial oversight of settlement agreements.  According to the Attorney General, the proposed amendments are designed to help restore public confidence that Proposition 65 is used for its proper health-protective purposes and not abused for private gain.  The full text of the AG Amendments can be found here. Read More ›

California Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for DINP Effective December 20, 2014

On December 20, 2014, California’s Proposition 65 warning requirements for consumer, occupational, and environmental exposures to diisononyl phthalate (“DINP”) will take effect.  In the category of consumer exposures, manufacturers, brand owners, distributors, and retailers of products containing DINP will run the risk of being sued under Proposition 65 unless a clear and reasonable warning is provided for exposure to a Proposition 65 carcinogen or unless the regulated party can demonstrate that exposure from the product is below a level that would create a significant risk of causing cancer (a “no significant risk level,” or “NSRL”). Read More ›

California Considers Revisions to Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a pre-regulatory proposal for new regulations that would change the requirements for warnings provided under Proposition 65 for exposures to certain chemicals identified by the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The “informal” pre-regulatory draft, if adopted as proposed, would overhaul the requirements relating to Proposition 65 warnings for manufacturers, retailers, and service-providers doing business in the State. Notably, the proposal would require warnings to specify certain listed chemicals, mandate specific warning language for certain exposure scenarios, and require businesses to submit extensive product and exposure-related information to OEHHA. The comment period on the pre-regulatory draft will be open until 5:00 PM PDT on Friday, June 13, 2014. 

California Considers Revisions to Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a pre-regulatory proposal for new regulations that would change the requirements for warnings provided under Proposition 65 for exposures to certain chemicals identified by the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The “informal” pre-regulatory draft, if adopted as proposed, would overhaul the requirements relating to Proposition 65 warnings for manufacturers, retailers, and service-providers doing business in the State. Notably, the proposal would require warnings to specify certain listed chemicals, mandate specific warning language for certain exposure scenarios, and require businesses to submit extensive product and exposure-related information to OEHHA. The comment period on the pre-regulatory draft will be open until May 14, 2014.  Read More ›

Defense Research Institute Reports on Beveridge & Diamond Appellate Win Preempting Solid Waste Ordinance

DRI, the leading organization for defense lawyers, reports in its latest issue of its online magazine The Voice on the Firm's recent win in the California Court of Appeal. In a unanimous opinion, the Court ruled that California law preempted a voter initiative that sought to limit solid waste imports into Solano County, California. The decision in Sierra Club v. County of Solano, 2013 WL 3963602 (Cal. App. 2013), also rejected arguments that intervening legislation should not be given effect while the case was on appeal, and rejected arguments for preserving the attorney fee award to the environmental petitioners that sought to enforce the voter initiative against Beveridge & Diamond's client, the Potrero Hills Landfill. To read the article in The Voice, click here. The case has also been the subject of articles in BNA Daily Environment Report, Westlaw Journal Environmental, Law 360, and Greenwire, quoting Firm Principal Jimmy Slaughter, who led the representation along with litigators Gary Smith and Lily Chinn from the Firm's California office.