ASSEMBLY, No. 3350

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 25, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  NANCY J. PINKIN

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs DEP to study and, if necessary, regulate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging and supplementing P.L.1991, c.520 (C.13:1E-99.44 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.   No later than 18 months after the effective date of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Department of Environmental Protection shall:

     (1)   conduct a study to assess each application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging and determine whether a safer alternative to the chemical is available for each assessed application; and

     (2)   publish its findings in the New Jersey Register and submit a report containing its findings to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, or their successors, and the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).

     b.    To determine whether there is a safer alternative to a specific application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging, the department shall conduct an alternatives assessment that:

     (1)   evaluates less toxic chemicals and nonchemical alternatives to replace the use of the PFAS chemical in food packaging;

     (2)   follows the guidelines for alternatives assessments issued by the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse; and

     (3)   includes, at a minimum, an evaluation of chemical hazards, exposure, performance, cost, and availability. 

     c.     If the department finds that there is a safer alternative to a specific application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging, the department shall, no later than 18 months after publication of its findings in the New Jersey Register pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), prohibiting the manufacture, sale, offer for sale, distribution for sale, or distribution for use in the State of any food packaging utilizing the specific application of the PFAS chemical, and requiring use of the safer alternative. 

     d.    If the department finds that there is no safer alternative to a specific application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging, beginning three years after publication of its findings in the New Jersey Register pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, and every three years thereafter, as necessary, the department shall reassess the specific application of the PFAS chemical in food packaging to determine whether a safer alternative exists, and publish its findings in the New Jersey Register.  If, after any such review, the department finds that there is a safer alternative, it shall adopt rules and regulations as required pursuant to subsection c. of this section. 

     e.     As used in this section:

     “Food packaging” means a package or packaging component that is intended for direct food contact and is comprised, in substantial part, of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers.

     “Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances” or “PFAS chemical” means, for the purposes of food packaging, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

     “Safer alternative” means an alternative substance or chemical, demonstrated by an alternatives assessment, that meets improved hazard and exposure considerations and which can be practicably and economically substituted for the original chemical.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to study and, if necessary, regulate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS chemicals) in food packaging. 

     Specifically, under the bill, the DEP would be required to conduct a study to assess each application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging and determine whether a safer alternative to the PFAS chemical is available for each assessed application.  The DEP would be required to publish its findings in the New Jersey Register and submit a report to the Legislature and the appropriate legislative committees.  To determine whether there is a safer alternative to a specific application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging, the DEP would be required to conduct an alternatives assessment that: (1) evaluates less toxic chemicals and nonchemical alternatives to replace the use of the PFAS chemical; (2) follows the guidelines for alternatives assessments issued by the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse; and (3) includes, at a minimum, an evaluation of chemical hazards, exposure, performance, cost, and availability. 

     Under the bill, if the DEP finds that there is a safer alternative to a specific application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging, it would be required to adopt rules prohibiting the manufacture, sale, offer for sale, distribution for sale, or distribution for use in the State of any food packaging utilizing the specific application of the PFAS chemical, and requiring use of the safer alternative.  If the DEP finds that there is no safer alternative to a specific application of a PFAS chemical in food packaging, beginning three years after it publishes its findings in the New Jersey Register, and every three years thereafter, the DEP would be required to reassess the specific application of the PFAS chemical in food packaging and publish its findings.  If, after any review, the DEP finds that there is a safer alternative, it would be required to adopt rules as described above. 

     Any person who violates the bill would be subject to the penalties for a violation of the “Toxic Packaging Reduction.”