Making customer lists available to the State

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 3, 2014

A bill from last year, SB 193 – Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) – authored by Senator Bill Monning (D- Carmel), was reactivated last week and scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This bill has not been amended since it stalled in August 2013 and was moved to the Inactive file.

SB 193 would require chemical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, importers and their agents to release the names and addresses of their customers who have purchased chemicals or products to HESIS upon request. The HESIS information is maintained jointly by the California Departments of Industrial Relations and Public Health.

Private and highly coveted customer lists and formulations are required to be turned over to the State without any upfront justification or clear explanation of why the information is needed or how it will be used. The opposition coalition to this bill, of which CMTA is one, has provided the author with recommended language which would provide clear criteria and a defined process. Unfortunately the author has yet to incorporate any of these recommendations.

While the bill contains language that records will remain confidential, industry has qualms because this information is available to CalEPA and the only way that businesses have been able to keep trade secrets protected has been to go to court within 30 days after a public records request has been filed.

The hearing for SB 193 in Assembly Appropriations for July 2nd was postponed by the committee. It could be set again when the Legislature returns from summer recess August 4th.

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