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California Proposition 141, No Carcinogens Released Into Water Act (1990)

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California Proposition 141 was on the November 6, 1990 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was defeated.

The goal of Proposition 141 was to extend the provisions of Proposition 65 to federal, state, and local government agencies and water systems serving the public. Proposition 65 prohibited businesses from discharging or releasing chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity into water.

Election results

Proposition 141
Defeatedd No3,542,89451.53%
Yes 3,332,755 48.47%

Ballot summary

The ballot summary provided for Proposition 141 said:

  • The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) prohibits businesses from discharging or releasing into water chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and requires warnings to persons exposed to such chemicals.
  • This measure extends to public agencies, other than publicly owned water systems, the discharge and release prohibition and warning requirement.
  • Exempts specified public agencies from discharge and release prohibition during public emergency, to protect public health, specified storm water or runoff situations, other circumstances.
  • Exempts specified public agencies from clear and reasonable warning requirements during emergency.

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • Beginning in 1991, unknown state and local government costs, which could exceed $1 million in first year, for posting signs and providing notices warning employees and public about exposures to toxic chemicals. Thereafter, ongoing state and local government costs, which may be less than the first year.
  • Beginning in 1992, unknown costs could result from preventing discharges into drinking water.
  • Amount of costs would depend upon extent existing waste discharge controls used at state and local governmental facilities are not sufficient to comply with discharge prohibitions of Proposition 65, and could be tens of millions of dollars.

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