In the News July 27, 2012

Maureen Gorsen Extensively Quoted in Law360 Feature on Green Chemistry

Maureen Gorsen was quoted in a Law360 article discussing the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s unveiling of sweeping draft rules implementing its Green Chemistry Initiative, which requires manufacturers that sell products containing harmful chemicals to use greener ingredients.

“The rules give DTSC broad authority over obtaining information from companies regarding the source and ingredients of products sold in California,” Gorsen said. “It’s a very sweeping set of regulations. Any manufacturer, importer or retailer of goods in California should be engaged in the process.”

“This is all regardless of whether the ingredient is listed as a chemical of concern or the product is selected as a priority product,” she said.

Gorsen further noted that “a company may go through the regulations and do all the paperwork and find that at the end of the process, it needs to use a different ingredient or can’t sell the product in the state.”

She said the regulations reflect the strong participation of environmental groups, noting that the most onerous paperwork requirements of the regulations can be triggered by amounts of chemical as low as the detectable limit in laboratory equipment.

“Most disconcerting, these regulations will require companies subject to its provisions to develop, fund and maintain a comprehensive product stewardship plan, including the posting of financial guarantees such as bonds and letters of credit in advance to fund the entire program, and compensation to retailers and other persons such as local governments that agree to administer or participate in the collection program.”

According to Gorsen, estimates indicate that alternative analyses could cost companies between $500,000 and $6 million per ingredient.

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