The Senate Environment and Public Works(EPW) Committee is set to hold a markup tomorrow on Sen. Lautenberg’s “Safe Chemicals Act” legislation. S. 847, would reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act(TSCA), which has yet to be reformed since it became law. The bill gives EPA broader authority to require any data so that it can more easily determine the safety of chemicals. It would make the EPA block chemicals that are deemed high risk to the public.
The concept of toxic chemical reform does have bipartisan support; however GOP leadership feels blindsided by the move to markup Sen. Lautenberg’s legislation. Earlier this summer, GOP leadership approached Sen. Lautenberg about working on a bipartisan bill led by Sens. Lautenberg and Vitter, according to a letter from GOP leadership to Sen. Lautenberg. They hoped to develop a new piece of legislation that “will protect American consumers; enhance confidence in the federal regulatory system; and ensure American manufacturers can continue to innovate, compete in the global economy, and grow and create jobs here at home.”
It will be interesting to see how the markup plays out tomorrow, and how many amendments are taken on the legislation. The bill will most likely move through the committee on a party line vote. The markup will begin at 10 a.m. in 406 Dirksen.