As one of the authors of both Prop. 65 and Prop. 128, "Big Green," I find it ironic that The Times cites the success of Prop. 65 as a reason for opposing Prop. 128 (editorial, Oct. 29). Four years ago, of course, The Times was persuaded that Prop. 65, too, was well-intentioned but fatally flawed.
Prop. 65, however, did not, and was never intended to deal with the entire range of toxic chemical problems. It protects drinking water, not oceans, estuaries and bays. The Times complains that Prop. 128 is aimed at "surfing and swimming water"; it's also aimed, of course, at the integrity of marine ecosystems and the state's fisheries resources. And, yes, Prop. 128 co-opts federal clean water standards; they're good, but they're not being enforced in California, and there is no reliable mechanism to enforce them except to pass Prop. 128.
The Times may say that existing "programs do not work perfectly but they work." The paper's own reporting tells a different tale. Is the most The Times can admit about the quality of Santa Monica Bay is that it "is of growing concern?" Does The Times really favor having the Sierra Club sue every single industrial discharger in Los Angeles as a means of achieving federal clean water standards?