The American Supply Association submitted comments in response to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Amendments to Article 6, Clear and Reasonable Warnings Short-form Warnings dated January 8, 2021. The rules formulated in Article 6 dictate the manner in which warnings are provided on products and packaging in order to be in compliance with California Proposition 65.
The ASA Plumbing Division Executive Council approved a position statement on the issue which was documented in a March 22, 2021 letter to the California OEHHA. In addition, ASA was represented by Jim Kendzel, director of codes and standards at a March 11, 2021 virtual hearing on the proposed amendments where Mr. Kendzel provided oral testimony in opposition to the amendments.
Kendzel stated, “I want to thank the ASA distributor and vendor member representatives who served on a working group that diligently worked to develop a sound and justifiable position on the issue. I was proud to take the working group’s work and present to the ASA Pluming Division Executive Council for final approval.” He continued, “The proposed amendments, if implemented, would have a significant impact on our members both in staff resources and capital. As an example, our distributor members carry SKUs impacted by the proposed changes ranging from 10,000 to over 200,000 SKUs all of which would need to be reviewed and updated based on the new labeling requirements.”
The key points of opposition to the proposed amendments are:
- Lack of justification for the proposed changes;
- Industry recently spent significant time and capital in complying with new requirements recently implemented in August 2018;
- Potential increased prices for the consumer;
- Creates inconsistent messaging in the marketplace; and
- Arbitrary selection of label size restrictions on for use of shorter warning.
In addition to ASA submitting its direct opposition to the proposed amendments, ASA is also coming together with over 40 different trade associations representing a diverse group of product supply chains in signing a coalition letter of opposition to the amendments which is consistent with the position being taken by ASA. Kendzel noted, “The coalition was brought together by CALChamber and the Consumer Brands Association. ASA was proud to represent the plumbing-heating-cooling and piping supply chain on the coalition and send a loud and clear voice of opposition.”