New York Department of Environmental Conservation Announces New Rule on Disclosure of Chemical Ingredients in Cleaning Products

On June 6, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized a new plan to require the disclosure of all chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. The new program was first reported in the Environmental Notice Bulletin back in April of 2017. A comment period lasted until July of 2017. The DEC received 864 comments to the proposal and compiled responses to the comments. Concerns ranged from the cost of providing such information to the types of penalties for violation of the guidance as well as how many clicks it should take to get to the information on the website of a chemicals manufacturer.

The essential element of the program is that any manufacturer of cleaning products sold in New York State will need to disclose the ingredients on their website and identify any chemicals that are on authoritative lists of chemicals of concern. The manufacturers will need to submit a Household Cleansing Product Information
Disclosure Certification Form to the DEC. The form will need to be signed by a senior management official and will certify that the information is correct and complete. The DEC will create a portal for the electronic submission of forms and maintain a database of all manufacturer URLs for the information on the manufacturers’ websites.  The manufacturer should either post the information on their home website or provide a direct link from that website to some other site with the information; the information cannot be more than one click away from consumers. The information should be posted in English, although other languages are encouraged in the guidelines. The information to be disclosed includes manufacturer information, product information, the extent of the disclosure ( there are certain hierarchies provided depending upon whether some information is withheld or provided generically owing to trade secrets), ingredients (including the chemical name and percentage contained), effects on human health and environment, and date of disclosure.

Intentionally added ingredients other than fragrances and nonfunctional ingredients above trace quantities must be posted by July 1, 2019 although independently owned and operated manufacturers have until July 1, 2020. By July 1, 2020, fragrance ingredients, nonfunctional byproducts in Appendix D at certain levels and PFOA and PFOS at certain levels, and nonfunctional contaminants in Appendix D at certain levels must be reported. By January 1, 2023, nonfunctional byproducts and contaminants in Appendix B must be provided.

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