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California may consider proposition 65 reforms. (Regulations).

* California officials are willing to take significant steps to reform California's Proposition 65, according to a press conference in San Diego last month. The effort focuses on curbing abuses by private citizen "bounty hunters" in bringing enforcement lawsuits. According to officials, such lawsuits accounted for more than 4,000 60-day notices filed in late December to avoid requirements of reform legislation that took place in January.

Representatives for the Attorney General commented on the importance of adopting regulations that require "a reasonable and meritorious case for private action."

At the same time, the regulations should require "not only documentation of exposure to a listed chemical, but a reasonable basis for concluding that the entire action has merit."

Proposed regulations were reviewed by Deputy Attorney General Edward Weil and Chief Assistant Attorney General Richard Frank.

Currently underway are two significant rule-making proceedings affecting Prop. 65, dealing with reporting requirements for private enforcement of the proposition, establishing binding requirements for the certificate of merit to be filed by private litigants and establishing roles for the review of settlements in Prop. 65 cases.

CTFA vice president-legal and general counsel Tom Donegan, who served as part of all industry panel, praised the reform efforts but said officials should take even stronger action to prevent frivilous lawsuits.

In his comments, Mr. Donegan urged California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to further strengthen the protection of its procedures for obtaining a safe use determination.

He also commented that he supports the Attorney General's efforts toward "bringing common sense and good science to the enforcement process."
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Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Date:May 1, 2002
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