California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986—also known as Proposition 65
—is widely considered to be a driver of chemical regulation through litigation. And because anyone who provides an alleged violator the requisite notice can bring suit to enforce the Act, including Proposition 65 “bounty hunters,” it also is viewed as a source of significant windfalls for private plaintiffs and their counsel. Despite these financial incentives and an ever-expanding list of Proposition 65 chemicals, the number of notices of alleged violations and resulting settlements largely have remained steady over the last couple of years. This is owing to at least two factors: (1) repeat players using the same, proven playbook to extract quick settlements; and (2) a limited supply of products that allegedly violate Proposition 65 given product reformulations and warnings.
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