2009 California Health and Safety Code - Section 25249.5-25249.13 :: Chapter 6.6. Safe Drinking Water And Toxic Enforcement Act Of 1986HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
25249.5. Prohibition On Contaminating Drinking Water With Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity. No person in the course of doing business shall knowingly discharge or release a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity into water or onto or into land where such chemical passes or probably will pass into any source of drinking water, notwithstanding any other provision or authorization of law except as provided in Section 25249.9. 25249.6. Required Warning Before Exposure To Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer Or Reproductive Toxicity. No person in the course of doing business shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning to such individual, except as provided in Section 25249.10. 25249.7. (a) Any person that violates or threatens to violate Section 25249.5 or 25249.6 may be enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction. (b) (1) Any person who has violated Section 25249.5 or 25249.6 shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per day for each violation in addition to any other penalty established by law. That civil penalty may be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in any court of competent jurisdiction. (2) In assessing the amount of a civil penalty for a violation of this chapter, the court shall consider all of the following: (A) The nature and extent of the violation. (B) The number of, and severity of, the violations. (C) The economic effect of the penalty on the violator. (D) Whether the violator took good faith measures to comply with this chapter and the time these measures were taken. (E) The willfulness of the violator's misconduct. (F) The deterrent effect that the imposition of the penalty would have on both the violator and the regulated community as a whole. (G) Any other factor that justice may require. (c) Actions pursuant to this section may be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the people of the State of California, by any district attorney, by any city attorney of a city having a population in excess of 750,000, or, with the consent of the district attorney, by a city prosecutor in any city or city and county having a full-time city prosecutor, or as provided in subdivision (d). (d) Actions pursuant to this section may be brought by any person in the public interest if both of the following requirements are met: (1) The private action is commenced more than 60 days from the date that the person has given notice of an alleged violation of Section 25249.5 or 25249.6 that is the subject of the private action to the Attorney General and the district attorney, city attorney, or prosecutor in whose jurisdiction the violation is alleged to have occurred, and to the alleged violator. If the notice alleges a violation of Section 25249.6, the notice of the alleged violation shall include a certificate of merit executed by the attorney for the noticing party, or by the noticing party, if the noticing party is not represented by an attorney. The certificate of merit shall state that the person executing the certificate has consulted with one or more persons with relevant and appropriate experience or expertise who has reviewed facts, studies, or other data regarding the exposure to the listed chemical that is the subject of the action, and that, based on that information, the person executing the certificate believes there is a reasonable and meritorious case for the private action. Factual information sufficient to establish the basis of the certificate of merit, including the information identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h), shall be attached to the certificate of merit that is served on the Attorney General. (2) Neither the Attorney General, any district attorney, any city attorney, nor any prosecutor has commenced and is diligently prosecuting an action against the violation. (e) Any person bringing an action in the public interest pursuant to subdivision (d) and any person filing any action in which a violation of this chapter is alleged shall notify the Attorney General that the action has been filed. Neither this subdivision nor the procedures provided in subdivisions (f) to (j), inclusive, shall affect the requirements imposed by statute or a court decision in existence on January 1, 2002, concerning whether any person filing any action in which a violation of this chapter is alleged is required to comply with the requirements of subdivision (d). (f) (1) Any person filing an action in the public interest pursuant to subdivision (d), any private person filing any action in which a violation of this chapter is alleged, or any private person settling any violation of this chapter alleged in a notice given pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), shall, after the action or violation is subject either to a settlement or to a judgment, submit to the Attorney General a reporting form that includes the results of that settlement or judgment and the final disposition of the case, even if dismissed. At the time of the filing of any judgment pursuant to an action brought in the public interest pursuant to subdivision (d), or any action brought by a private person in which a violation of this chapter is alleged, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit verifying that the report required by this subdivision has been accurately completed and submitted to the Attorney General. (2) Any person bringing an action in the public interest pursuant to subdivision (d), or any private person bringing an action in which a violation of this chapter is alleged, shall, after the action is either subject to a settlement, with or without court approval, or to a judgment, submit to the Attorney General a report that includes information on any corrective action being taken as a part of the settlement or resolution of the action. (3) The Attorney General shall develop a reporting form that specifies the information that shall be reported, including, but not limited to, for purposes of subdivision (e), the date the action was filed, the nature of the relief sought, and for purposes of this subdivision, the amount of the settlement or civil penalty assessed, other financial terms of the settlement, and any other information the Attorney General deems appropriate. (4) If there is a settlement of an action brought by a person in the public interest under subdivision (d), the plaintiff shall submit the settlement, other than a voluntary dismissal in which no consideration is received from the defendant, to the court for approval upon noticed motion, and the court may approve the settlement only if the court makes all of the following findings: (A) Any warning that is required by the settlement complies with this chapter. (B) Any award of attorney's fees is reasonable under California law. (C) Any penalty amount is reasonable based on the criteria set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b). (5) The plaintiff subject to paragraph (4) has the burden of producing evidence sufficient to sustain each required finding. The plaintiff shall serve the motion and all supporting papers on the Attorney General, who may appear and participate in any proceeding without intervening in the case. (6) Neither this subdivision nor the procedures provided in subdivision (e) and subdivisions (g) to (j), inclusive, shall affect the requirements imposed by statute or a court decision in existence on January 1, 2002, concerning whether claims raised by any person or public prosecutor not a party to the action are precluded by a settlement approved by the court. (g) The Attorney General shall maintain a record of the information submitted pursuant to subdivisions (e) and (f) and shall make this information available to the public. (h) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the basis for the certificate of merit required by subdivision (d) is not discoverable. However, nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the discovery of information related to the certificate of merit if that information is relevant to the subject matter of the action and is otherwise discoverable, solely on the ground that it was used in support of the certificate of merit. (2) Upon the conclusion of an action brought pursuant to subdivision (d) with respect to any defendant, if the trial court determines that there was no actual or threatened exposure to a listed chemical, the court may, upon the motion of that alleged violator or upon the court's own motion, review the basis for the belief of the person executing the certificate of merit, expressed in the certificate of merit, that an exposure to a listed chemical had occurred or was threatened. The information in the certificate of merit, including the identity of the persons consulted with and relied on by the certifier, and the facts, studies, or other data reviewed by those persons, shall be disclosed to the court in an in-camera proceeding at which the moving party shall not be present. If the court finds that there was no credible factual basis for the certifier's belief that an exposure to a listed chemical had occurred or was threatened, then the action shall be deemed frivolous within the meaning of Section 128.6 or 128.7 of the Code of Civil Procedure, whichever provision is applicable to the action. The court shall not find a factual basis credible on the basis of a legal theory of liability that is frivolous within the meaning of Section 128.6 or 128.7 of the Code of Civil Procedure, whichever provision is applicable to the action. (i) The Attorney General may provide the factual information submitted to establish the basis of the certificate of merit on request to any district attorney, city attorney, or prosecutor within whose jurisdiction the violation is alleged to have occurred, or to any other state or federal government agency, but in all other respects the Attorney General shall maintain, and ensure that all recipients maintain, the submitted information as confidential official information to the full extent authorized in Section 1040 of the Evidence Code. (j) In any action brought by the Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or a prosecutor pursuant to this chapter, the Attorney General, district attorney, city attorney, or prosecutor may seek and recover costs and attorney's fees on behalf of any party who provides a notice pursuant to subdivision (d) and who renders assistance in that action. 25249.8. List Of Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer Or Reproductive Toxicity. (a) On or before March 1, 1987, the Governor shall cause to be published a list of those chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity within the meaning of this chapter, and he shall cause such list to be revised and republished in light of additional knowledge at least once per year thereafter. Such list shall include at a minimum those substances identified by reference in Labor Code Section 6382(b)(1) and those substances identified additionally by reference in Labor Code Section 6382(d). (b) A chemical is known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity within the meaning of this chapter if in the opinion of the state's qualified experts it has been clearly shown through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, or if a body considered to be authoritative by such experts has formally identified it as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity, or if an agency of the state or federal government has formally required it to be labeled or identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity. (c) On or before January 1, 1989, and at least once per year thereafter, the Governor shall cause to be published a separate list of those chemicals that at the time of publication are required by state or federal law to have been tested for potential to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity but that the state's qualified experts have not found to have been adequately tested as required. (d) The Governor shall identify and consult with the state's qualified experts as necessary to carry out his duties under this section. (e) In carrying out the duties of the Governor under this section, the Governor and his designates shall not be considered to be adopting or amending a regulation within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act as defined in Government Code Section 11370. 25249.9. Exemptions from Discharge Prohibition. (a) Section 25249.5 shall not apply to any discharge or release that takes place less than twenty months subsequent to the listing of the chemical in question on the list required to be published under subdivision (a) of Section 25249.8. (b) Section 25249.5 shall not apply to any discharge or release that meets both of the following criteria: (1) The discharge or release will not cause any significant amount of the discharged or released chemical to enter any source of drinking water. (2) The discharge or release is in conformity with all other laws and with every applicable regulation, permit, requirement, and order. In any action brought to enforce Section 25249.5, the burden of showing that a discharge or release meets the criteria of this subdivision shall be on the defendant. 25249.10. Exemptions from Warning Requirement. Section 25249.6 shall not apply to any of the following: (a) An exposure for which federal law governs warning in a manner that preempts state authority. (b) An exposure that takes place less than twelve months subsequent to the listing of the chemical in question on the list required to be published under subdivision (a) of Section 25249.8. (c) An exposure for which the person responsible can show that the exposure poses no significant risk assuming lifetime exposure at the level in question for substances known to the state to cause cancer, and that the exposure will have no observable effect assuming exposure at one thousand (1000) times the level in question for substances known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity, based on evidence and standards of comparable scientific validity to the evidence and standards which form the scientific basis for the listing of such chemical pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 25249.8. In any action brought to enforce Section 25249.6, the burden of showing that an exposure meets the criteria of this subdivision shall be on the defendant. 25249.11. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter: (a) "Person" means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation, company, partnership, limited liability company, and association. (b) "Person in the course of doing business" does not include any person employing fewer than 10 employees in his or her business; any city, county, or district or any department or agency thereof or the state or any department or agency thereof or the federal government or any department or agency thereof; or any entity in its operation of a public water system as defined in Section 116275. (c) "Significant amount" means any detectable amount except an amount which would meet the exemption test in subdivision (c) of Section 25249.10 if an individual were exposed to such an amount in drinking water. (d) "Source of drinking water" means either a present source of drinking water or water which is identified or designated in a water quality control plan adopted by a regional board as being suitable for domestic or municipal uses. (e) "Threaten to violate" means to create a condition in which there is a substantial probability that a violation will occur. (f) "Warning" within the meaning of Section 25249.6 need not be provided separately to each exposed individual and may be provided by general methods such as labels on consumer products, inclusion of notices in mailings to water customers, posting of notices, placing notices in public news media, and the like, provided that the warning accomplished is clear and reasonable. In order to minimize the burden on retail sellers of consumer products including foods, regulations implementing Section 25249.6 shall to the extent practicable place the obligation to provide any warning materials such as labels on the producer or packager rather than on the retail seller, except where the retail seller itself is responsible for introducing a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity into the consumer product in question. 25249.12. (a) The Governor shall designate a lead agency and other agencies that may be required to implement this chapter, including this section. Each agency so designated may adopt and modify regulations, standards, and permits as necessary to conform with and implement this chapter and to further its purposes. (b) The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. The director of the lead agency designated by the Governor to implement this chapter may expend the funds in the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to implement and administer this chapter. (c) In addition to any other money that may be deposited in the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Fund, all of the following amounts shall be deposited in the fund: (1) Seventy-five percent of all civil and criminal penalties collected pursuant to this chapter. (2) Any interest earned upon the money deposited into the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Fund. (d) Twenty-five percent of all civil and criminal penalties collected pursuant to this chapter shall be paid to the office of the city attorney, city prosecutor, district attorney, or Attorney General, whichever office brought the action, or in the case of an action brought by a person under subdivision (d) of Section 25249.7, to that person. 25249.13. Preservation Of Existing Rights, Obligations, and Penalties. Nothing in this chapter shall alter or diminish any legal obligation otherwise required in common law or by statute or regulation, and nothing in this chapter shall create or enlarge any defense in any action to enforce such legal obligation. Penalties and sanctions imposed under this chapter shall be in addition to any penalties or sanctions otherwise prescribed by law.
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