Proposed Amendments to Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warnings Section 25603 Consumer Product Exposure Warnings Content for on Product Warnings for Listed Chemicals in Pesticides Regulated Under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has given notice of a proposal to amend Article 6 of Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, section 25603. OEHHA adopted new Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warnings regulations in August 2016 (Operative in August 2018) that included safe harbor warning methods and content for consumer product exposures (Sections 25602 and 25603) and occupational exposures (Section 25606) to listed chemicals. OEHHA has received a request to modify the safe harbor warning content for on product warnings for exposures to listed chemicals in pesticides. Comments should be submitted to OEHHA by 11 June 2018. All comments will be posted on the OEHHA website at the close of the public comment period. The proposed amendment to the regulations would add optional signal words that would be allowed in narrow circumstances where a warning is provided on a product regulated under FIFRA and the signal word “warning” conflicts with the FIFRA requirements. The proposed regulatory action will assist businesses, in particular pesticide registrants, to comply with the Act by providing optional signal words for on product warnings for listed chemicals in pesticides that are also consistent with the FIFRA and related California laws.  The health and welfare of California residents will likely benefit because warnings will be more likely to be placed on a product label, thus making it easier for them to identify the source of exposure to the listed pesticide. OEHHA has conducted an evaluation and has determined that Article 6 is the only regulation concerning Proposition 65 warnings. The action is being proposed to harmonise safe harbor warning content requirements for product labels to ensure compatibility with state pesticide regulations. Therefore, the proposed regulatory action is neither inconsistent nor incompatible with any other existing state regulations. Because Proposition 65 by its terms does not apply to local agencies or school districts, OEHHA has determined the proposed regulatory action would not impose a mandate on local agencies or school districts. There are also no costs to any local agency or school district requiring reimbursement under Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of the Government Code because Proposition 65 does not apply to these facilities. OEHHA has also determined that no nondiscretionary costs or savings to local agencies or school districts will result from the proposed regulatory action, nor will there be any costs or savings to the state because of the proposed regulatory action. There are also no costs or savings in federal funding to the state. OEHHA has initially determined that the proposed regulatory action will have no effect on housing costs because it does not impose any new mandatory requirements on any business. The proposed regulatory action provides compliance assistance to businesses subject to the Act by adding optional signal words for safe harbor warnings for businesses wishing to provide warnings on product labels for exposures to listed chemicals in pesticides. The proposed amendment does not impose any mandatory requirements on those businesses. OEHHA has therefore made an initial determination that the adoption of these amendments will not have a significant state-wide adverse economic impact directly affecting businesses, including the ability of California businesses to compete with businesses in other states. The proposed amendment provides a narrow exception to the signal word requirements under the safe harbor provisions for affected businesses opting to provide safe harbor warnings on product labels for exposures to listed chemicals from the use of pesticides. The proposed regulatory action will not impact the creation of new businesses or the elimination of existing businesses within California. The proposed amendment provides a narrow exception to the signal word requirements under the safe harbor provisions for affected businesses opting to provide safe harbor warnings on product labels for exposures to listed chemicals from the use of pesticides. OEHHA does not anticipate any major impact on the expansion of businesses currently doing business within the state. The proposed amendment interprets and makes specific the warning requirements of the Act by providing a narrow exception regarding signal words used for warnings on pesticide product labels. A business may still choose not to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions and provide an otherwise “clear and reasonable” warning that complies with the Act.

Benefits of the Proposed Regulation

Affected businesses will likely benefit from the proposed regulatory action because the amendments provide optional safe harbor warning content for Proposition 65 warnings on pesticide product labels that are also consistent with FIFRA and related California laws.  The health and welfare of California residents will likely benefit because warnings will more likely be placed on a product label, thus making it easier for consumers to identify the source of exposure to the listed pesticide. OEHHA is not aware of any cost impacts that a representative private person or business would necessarily incur in reasonable compliance with the proposed regulatory action. The action does not impose any new requirements upon private persons or businesses. Pursuant to Government Code section 11346.5(a)(13), OEHHA must determine that no reasonable alternative considered by OEHHA, or that has otherwise been identified and brought to the attention of OEHHA, would be more effective in carrying out the purpose for which the action is proposed, would be as effective and less burdensome to affected businesses than the proposed action, or would be more cost-effective to affected businesses and equally effective in implementing the statutory policy or other provision of law. OEHHA has prepared and has available for public review an Initial Statement of Reasons for the proposed regulation, all the information upon which the regulation is based, and the text of the proposed regulation. These documents are available on OEHHA’s web site at www.oehha.ca.gov. The full text of any proposed regulation that is changed or modified from the express terms of this proposed action will be made available at least 15 days prior to the date on which OEHHA adopts the resulting regulation. Notice of the comment period on the revised proposed regulation and the full text will be mailed to individuals who testified or submitted oral or written comments at the public hearing, whose comments were received by OEHHA during the public comment period, and anyone who requests notification from OEHHA of the availability of such change. Copies of the notice and the changed regulation will also be available on the OEHHA website at www.oehha.ca.gov.

OEHHA, 23 April 2018 ; http://www.oehha.ca.gov

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