November ’23 at-a-glance … environment

California’s 2023 PFAS labeling regulation subject of attorney general enforcement initiative

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued an enforcement advisory letter to manufacturers, distributors and sellers of cookware, alerting them to their obligations under Assembly Bill 1200 (AB 1200). AB 1200, which took effect Jan. 1, requires manufacturers of cookware to disclose the presence of PFAS and certain other chemicals on the internet or product label, and prohibits manufacturers from claiming their cookware is PFAS-free, unless certain conditions are met. 

“AB 1200 requires even more diligence from manufacturers than California’s Proposition 65,” said Alex Bandza, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg. “It does appear to be directed more toward items used to cook food, rather than to prepare food more generally,” To help members navigate AB 1200, NAFEM will host a webinar specific to this regulation soon.

DOE announces Regional Hydrogen Hubs

Congress is one step closer to its goal of a national network of regional clean energy hubs, accelerating the large scale production and use of low-cost hydrogen as a replacement for fossil fuels. The Biden Administration and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced seven regional hubs  to “serve as a backbone for a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure and support the production, storage, delivery and end use of clean hydrogen.” Hubs will be located in:

  • Appalachian region of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Houston
  • Heartland of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota
  • Mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey
  • Midwest region of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan
  • Pacific Northwest region of Washington, Oregon and Montana

DOE will invest $7 million, and the hubs will collectively invest more than $40 million, to create regional hydrogen networks.

EPA proposes ban on all TCE use

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of a proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE) widely used as a solvent in lubricants, greases, adhesives and sealants due to the “unreasonable risk of injury to human health it presents.” Comments are due Dec. 15.