ACA applauded Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.) and their fellow co-sponsors on the bipartisan effort to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) through the May 22 introduction of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 1009).
The Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 is the first bipartisan legislative effort since Sen. Lautenberg first introduced comprehensive TSCA-reform legislation in 2005. The bill has been co-sponsored by more than a dozen Democrats and Republicans, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mark Begich (D-Ala.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).
Enacted in 1976, TSCA, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was designed to protect the public from unreasonable risk of injury to public health or the environment by regulating the manufacture and sale of chemicals. The legislation will require EPA to make safety determinations for chemicals based on intended conditions of use and a risk-based assessment incorporating exposure, hazard, and use information. Of note, the new measure would preempt state and local authorities from banning low priority chemicals or taking certain activities. Establishing stronger federal preemption was a major objective for ACA, as it was absent in previous proposals for TSCA reform. The proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 also offers expansion of justified CBI (confidential business information) protections for information provided by industry on chemical substances, including chemical identity in formulations, another point ACA underscored was a vital component of any TSCA reform measure.
“ACA is pleased that the new legislation takes a balanced, workable approach to chemicals management that will protect the public without impeding innovation or disrupting the flow of goods in commerce,” said Andy Doyle, ACA president and CEO. “We remain committed to working with interested stakeholders to help promote TSCA modernization in the Senate.”
"Our bill strikes the right balance between strengthening consumer confidence in the safety of chemicals, while also promoting innovation and the growth of an important sector of our economy,” said Vitter, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.