Aug 08, 2012

California to Consider Third-Party Certification Bill

The California Department of Public Health has proposed new legislation to eliminate the mandate that water treatment devices be certified by government and to instead allow third-party certification.

The language of the new legislation eliminates the requirement that the California Department of Public Health certify water treatment devices before they enter California commerce. The new proposed bill indicates that before devices enter the market, the manufacturer must provide the name of the contaminant that device treats, contact information, device information, third-party verification that the claims made by the device are accurate and a summary of test results, including the testing agency, protocol or standard.

Devices must be tested by an independent testing organization that has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute and must be included on the list of water treatment devices published on the department's website.

Required information must be provided by March 1 each calendar year beginning in 2013. The department will charge and collect an annual fee of up to $4,000 per submitting manufacturer. Currently, valid certificates issued by the department will remain in effect until five years following the date of initial issuance. Violations of the new regulations can result in a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation.

Additionally, it would be illegal, during course of business, to make deliberately untrue statements about the presence of contaminants, causal health effects and unsubstantiated treatment claims. It would also be illegal to use pictures, exhibits, graphs, charts, other graphic portrayals, endorsements or testimonials in any untrue or misleading manner.

The legislature reconvenes this week. Committee discussions will follow, and a vote should be taken before Aug. 31. The governor would then need to sign the bill by Sept. 30.