On October 17, 2023, the California Attorney General (AG) Rob Bonta released an enforcement advisory letter to manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of food packaging and cookware detailing how he intends to enforce AB 1200, a law which: 1) bans the sale of regulated per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging in California, and 2) requires disclosure and labeling of chemicals on a “designated list,” including PFAS, that are present in the food contact surface or the handle of cookware products sold in California. Because the individual laws do not provide specific enforcement mechanisms, this announcement is the first time the AG’s office has articulated the authorities it plans to use to enforce these laws. The enforcement advisory letter provides a clear warning to the regulated community, from manufacturers to importers to distributors and retailers, that California will be enforcing its PFAS laws. Similar advisories could be issued in the future for California’s other laws restricting PFAS in juvenile products, textiles, and cosmetics.Continue Reading California Attorney General Issues Stark Warning to Businesses Regarding Enforcement of PFAS in Food Packaging and Cookware Laws
On October 7, 2023 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two landmark climate disclosure laws aimed at making major companies publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and report on their climate-related financial risks. The first, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253), will require all business entities with an annual revenue exceeding $1 billion to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in a format accessible to the public. The second, SB 261, will require all business entities with annual revenue exceeding $500 million to publish a report on their “climate-related financial risks” on their websites. These first-in-the-nation laws are broader than the proposed SEC climate disclosure rule and reach more than just California-based entities.Continue Reading First-in-the-Nation Climate Disclosure Bills Become Law In California
On July 10, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a suite of bills intended to facilitate the permitting and approval processes for clean energy and other infrastructure projects in California.
Enactment of these measures in conjunction with the state’s budget bill marked the culmination of negotiations between the governor and state legislators that began on May 19, 2023, when the governor’s office announced a number of legislative proposals to streamline approval and permitting processes for clean infrastructure projects in California. On the same day, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-8-23, creating an Infrastructure Strike Team to work across state agencies to maximize federal and state funding opportunities for California innovation and infrastructure projects. The governor’s legislative proposals and executive order reflect the administration’s commitment to infrastructure development in California.Continue Reading California Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Intended To Facilitate Clean Energy and Infrastructure Development
On November 16, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB or the Board) proposed a new Scoping Plan for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Generally, the Scoping Plan is a means by which the Board can assess California’s progress toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, and issue new policies and strategy to meet that goal. The Board is required by law to update the Scoping Plan every five years, and this is the third such update since the California legislature enacted the California Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006. CARB staff are touting the Scoping Plan not only as reducing GHG emissions, but also as leading to the creation of four million new jobs and the avoidance of $200 billion in pollution-related health expenditures.Continue Reading To Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2045, CARB Proposes 2022 Scoping Plan
On November 16, 2022, the California Air Resources Board released its proposed final “2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality.” The plan lays out a path for California to achieve carbon neutrality and reduce anthropogenic emissions to 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2045. Notably, it highlights the necessity for carbon capture and carbon removal to achieve net negative emissions. California is an ideal testing ground for CCS for several reasons, including a culture of innovation, good geology for storage, and aggressive state targets on emissions.
Continue Reading California’s 2022 Proposed Final Scoping Plan
In line with the Biden administration’s focus on expanding offshore wind energy, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking public review and comments on the draft Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) environmental assessment (EA) by Friday, May 6, 2022. The EA for the Morro Bay WEA “considers potential environmental and socioeconomic effects from issuing offshore wind energy leases and related site characterization and assessment activities.” Written comments may be filed or shared virtually at the April 14 or April 19 meeting.
Continue Reading BOEM Prepares for California Offshore Wind Energy Area with Request for Public Comments on Draft Environmental Assessment
On April 5, 2022, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a second 15-day notice of modification to its proposed Proposition 65 safe harbor “short-form” warning regulations. If adopted, the amendments would significantly impact businesses’ use of the short-form warnings.
Continue Reading California Proposition 65: OEHHA Publishes Second Modification to Proposed Rules to Short-Form Warnings
Late last month, California adopted a first-in-the nation strategy to address microplastics in the environment. Shortly thereafter, on March 2, 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a resolution setting up a path to a global treaty to end plastic pollution. And, after adopting the world’s first regulatory definition of “microplastics in drinking water” in 2020, California anticipates additional action addressing microplastics in drinking water as early as this month.
Continue Reading California and the World Move Toward Cleaning Up Microplastics: What You Need to Know Now
On Monday, the State of California launched a new group out of Governor Newsom’s office – the Climate-Related Risk Disclosure Advisory Group just as CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies), a non-profit organization that has been a significant voice over the past decade on climate and sustainability economic issues, issued a report entitled, Turning Up the Heat, The need for urgent action by U.S. financial regulators in addressing climate risk.
Continue Reading Actions on Climate Change Disclosure in California and New Report Indicate Spring May Be In Like a Lion and Out Like One Too!
Late last year, New Jersey became the first state to require via legislation that its environmental state agency evaluate the contributions of certain facilities to existing environmental and public health stressors in overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications. California, never to be outdone, has begun its own legislative process to further incorporate environmental justice into state decision-making.
Continue Reading California Takes Steps to Incorporate Environmental Justice into Permitting Decisions