June 01, 2019

Federal Challenges to Proposition 65: New Paths to Litigation and Lessons for Challenging State Laws

Judith Praitis, Amy Lally, and Marshall Morales

Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, passed as a ballot initiative in California in 1986. Proposition 65 primarily aimed to protect drinking water, barring certain chemical releases into sources of drinking water. Over time, however, the drinking water protections were eclipsed by the obligation to provide a “clear and reasonable warning” prior to exposing a person in California to substances listed as known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm.

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