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Safer Products for Washington Cycle 1.5 Rulemaking

Ecology, Department of
Title of action
Safer Products for Washington Cycle 1.5 Rulemaking
Date significant agency action was initiated
Friday, December 8, 2023
Significant legislative rules
Brief description of significant agency actions for which the agency is initiating an environmental justice assessment.
The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is starting a rulemaking to revise the Safer Products Restrictions and Reporting rule—Chapter 173-337 WAC—aiming to reduce PFAS in consumer products. Ecology plans to conduct this rulemaking to: • Reduce the use of priority chemicals in priority consumer products. • Revise Chapter 173-337 WAC in accordance with the regulatory actions outlined in the Regulatory Determinations Report to the Legislature that Ecology will submit by June 1, 2024. Under the authority of Chapter 70A.350 RCW, Ecology may restrict the manufacture, sale, and distribution of a chemical in a product, or require manufacturers to report the use of a chemical in a product. In this rulemaking, Ecology may create reporting requirements or restrictions that apply to the use of PFAS in product categories such as: • Apparel and gear. o Apparel examples include athleticwear, rainwear, school uniforms, clothing for everyday use, undergarments (reusable baby diapers and period underwear), hats, scarves, gloves, shoes, outerwear for mountaineering, outerwear for whitewater kayaking, and commercial fishing bibs for offshore fishing. o Gear examples include backpacks, sleeping bags, umbrellas, camping furniture, and climbing rope. • Cleaning products, including products to wash automobiles and boats. • Cookware and kitchen supplies. o Examples include frying pans, cooking pots, rice cookers, waffle makers, griddles, bakeware, and reusable baking liners. • Firefighting PPE (personal protective equipment). • Hard surface sealants. o Examples include sealants applied to hard porous surfaces like stone, unglazed tile, concrete, and wood. They can be used for interior and exterior applications. • Waxes and polishes, including products for floors, automobiles, skis, and snowboards. PFAS are a group of toxic chemicals that are very persistent in the environment. Most people living in the United States have PFAS in their blood. People are exposed through food, drinking water, and products with PFAS. As products are created, used, and disposed, exposure can occur: • Directly from items such as apparel, cleaning products, and cookware. • Indirectly from the environment—through the air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat. Ecology plans to develop rules that could: • Reduce the use of PFAS in products by restricting PFAS when Ecology identifies safer, feasible, and available alternatives. This will help: o Reduce consumers’ and workers’ exposure to PFAS. o Reduce the amount of PFAS entering the environment. • Increase product ingredient transparency.
Methods for providing public comment for agency consideration as part of the environmental justice assessment.
Get involved in this rulemaking by: • Sharing feedback on the Cycle 1.5 Draft Regulatory Determinations Report. The comment period is open now and closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on January 12, 2024. • Signing up for email announcements. • Attending webinars. Our next webinars will occur on December 13 and 14, 2023. See our interested parties webpage for more information. • Contacting Stacey Callaway at or 360-584-5661. As we schedule additional opportunities to provide feedback and participate in workshops, we will share details on our webpages and via our email list. We anticipate: • Developing draft rule requirements in the summer of 2024. • Sharing a preliminary draft rule, providing a public comment period, and hosting webinars in the fall of 2024. • Proposing a formal draft rule, providing a public comment period, and hosting hearings, in the summer of 2025. • Adopting the revised rule by December 1, 2025.