On July 18, 2013, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) finalized the regulations to regulate the ingredients, manufacture and design of consumer products sold in California by submitting the final package of supporting materials to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). OAL will conduct a review of the regulations and the supporting materials to ensure that DTSC complied with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), its procedural requirements for hearing, notice, public comment, etc. and its substantive standards that the regulations are “necessary” to effectuate the statute, are “authorized” by and “consistent” with the statute and not unduly “vague” or “overbroad.” Many objective reviewers, as wells as most of the public commenters, believe that the rulemaking fails to meet the APA standards. However, OAL tends to provide a rubber stamp review rather than an objective critical one, so it is unlikely to find serious fault with the rulemaking.

OAL has 30 working days to complete its review, by August 29, 2013. The date OAL completes its review will be the day triggering the statute of limitations for any litigation challenges to the regulations, the shortest of which is 30 days.

If no litigation challenges are brought, the regulation will become effective on October 1, 2013. Publication of the list of chemicals subject to the rules is likely to be released shortly thereafter. Data and information call-ins are also likely to commence immediately thereafter. Finally, the 3-5 product categories that will be “invited” to perform a full lifecycle alternatives analysis are likely to be selected in early 2014. Also watch out for potential petitions by NGOs to select additional product categories and list additional chemicals as they have been waiting a very long time for these regulations and will want to see strong action taken once they are finalized.