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Less than a month after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Sen. Michael Rubio would be chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, Rubio and 15 other lawmakers today asked Gov. Jerry Brown to delay implementation of California's law to regulate toxic chemicals in consumer goods.

The lawmakers said in a letter to Brown that the state's Green Chemistry initiative should be delayed until a thorough analysis of its economic impact is completed.

"It is without contention that the range and scope of these regulations is wide and can impact every manufacturer, business and consumer in California and beyond," the lawmakers say in the letter.

Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, said the initiative, which was passed by the Legislature in 2008 but has been delayed already for about two years, is a reasonable one to protect the public and the environment from toxins.

She said of Rubio, "We will work with him, but what does it mean when he's carrying water for toxic industries?"

Rubio was the Central Valley Democrat behind an effort this year to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act, which fell apart before the end of the legislative session.

"These regulations could affect nearly every product sold in the state
of California - from cars and computers to shampoo and cleaning
products- potentially impacting every manufacturer, business and consumer
in California," Rubio said in a prepared statement. "Particularly during these difficult
economic times, it is critical that businesses have greater certainty
about future regulatory conditions so that we will continue to encourage
job growth in California."


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