Brown administration joins push to amend Prop. 65

Gov. Jerry Brown is throwing his weight behind a push to update Proposition 65, California’s safeguard against exposure to toxic chemicals.

Passed by voters in 1986, Proposition 65 sought to shield the state’s water supply from contamination and to protect consumers by requiring companies to post clear warnings about harmful chemicals in products.

The law has been “a resounding success” as a consumer safeguard, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez said in a conference call with reporters today. But he said the time has come to amend the law, citing a proliferation of “abusive” profit-seeking lawsuits and scientific strides that make some of the standards set 27 years ago obsolete.

“It’s not an unqualified success,” Rodriquez said on the call. “Unfortunately, it has been abused in the past by those who have essentially used it to shake down small businesses and generate fees by bringing cases with little or no benefit to public health.”

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