Environmental Protection

Cal/EPA Reviews 2010 Toxic Substances Control Changes

On Jan. 1, several changes involving California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) went into effect. These changes will:

  • ensure that plumbing material that carry cooking and drinking water are lead free;
  • require that lighting products do not exceed European limits for toxic metals;
  • establish a health-based cleanup standard for methamphetamine labs;
  • prohibit the use of lead wheel weights;
  • require the agency to develop information on nanomaterials in collaboration with manufacturers and importers;
  • lengthen the statute of limitations on spill reporting;
  • extend the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act; and
  • modify testing requirements for transporters of used oil.
These statutory changes and mandates will affect California consumers, households, retailers, and manufacturers, and arise from the following legislative measures.

Two Senate bills, SB 1334 and SB 1395, ensure that water used for cooking and drinking is free from lead transferred from pipes, plumbing fittings, and fixtures. SB 1334 requires all pipes, plumbing fitting or fixtures, or flux to be certified by an independent American National Standards Institute-accredited third party for compliance with lead standards. The measure requires the certification to include testing materials in accordance with DTSC protocols for implementing the lead standards compliance testing and evaluation program outlined in SB 1395. SB 1351 allows DTSC to annually select up to 75 drinking water plumbing fittings and fixtures for testing to determine compliance with the lead plumbing provisions in SB 1334. DTSC is required to post the findings on its Web site and to provide a report to the California Department of Public Health.

Assembly Bill 1109 reduces certain toxic materials, such as mercury and lead, in lighting products. This bill requires lighting manufacturers to provide certifications to retailers that their products do not exceed European Union limits for cadmium, lead, mercury, or hexavalent chromium. Manufacturers may list the certification on packaging.

Assembly Bill 1489 allows DTSC to continue developing health-based target cleanup standards for precursors and byproducts of methamphetamine production. This change will allow DTSC to expand the development of cleanup standards to accommodate ever-changing processes used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.

SB 757 prohibits manufacturing, using, or selling automobile and truck lead wheel weights containing more than 0.1 percent lead by weight. DTSC can now respond and investigate non-compliance and limits enforcement to administrative or civil penalties up to $2,500 per day for each violation. Lead weight alternatives must be addressed through the safer alternatives regulations that DTSC is adopting in its implementation of recent Green Chemistry bills, if the alternative is identified as a chemical of concern.

Assembly Bill 805 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify all information in a license application to ensure that the applicant operating an auto dismantler business in California has an EPA ID Number, has satisfied requirements related to the Business Plan for Emergency Response and Storm Water Permits, and has a Board of Equalization resale permit.

Assembly Bill 289 requires Cal/EPA to coordinate all requests for information from nanotechnology manufacturers made on behalf of state agencies. In January 2009, DTSC sent letters to manufacturers requesting information regarding analytical test methods, fate and transport in the environment, and other relevant information about nanomaterials. Manufacturers had one year from that date to respond. In January 2010, DTSC will proceed to identify information gaps and develop further information on nanomaterials.

Assembly Bill 305 extends the statute of limitations to five years for violations of Hazardous Material Release Response Plan (business plan) requirements and authorizes the imposition of a jail sentence in addition to a monetary fine for the violation of spill reporting requirements. It allows both a fine of up to $50,000 or punishment of up to one year in county jail, or both, for failing to report or for filing a false or misleading report of an oil spill in to non-marine waters.

SB 143, adds a prospective purchaser to the list of persons eligible to enter into a specified cleanup agreement and extends the repeal date for the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA) of 2004 until Jan. 1, 2017. This act provides qualified innocent landowners, certain purchasers, or contiguous property owners with immunity from liability for certain hazardous materials response costs or other damages if they clean up the property.

SB 546 makes a number of changes to the used oil management programs in California, including:

  • modifying testing requirements on used oil transporters;
  • raising lubricating oil manufacturers fees;
  • increasing the incentive payment for recycling used oil;
  • authorizing an additional incentive to facilities that produce re-refined base lubricants; and
  • establishing certification requirements for out-of-state used oil recycling facilities.
For general inquiries, contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control at 800.728.6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov.

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