On April 10, 2013 Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), joined by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and 27 other co-sponsors, reintroduced his TSCA reform bill as the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 (S. 696). The bill is identical to Senator Lautenberg's TSCA reform legislation that was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in the 112th Congress, but was not introduced in the House of Representatives. If enacted, the bill would amend TSCA to require EPA to undertake risk assessments of priority existing chemicals and to make a safety determination for each chemical based on whether there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to human health or the environment from aggregate exposure to the chemical substance. The bill would also give EPA the authority to require additional safety testing of chemicals. If EPA determines through its risk assessment that a chemical fails to meet the safety standard, EPA would have the authority to implement various risk management approaches, including requiring a warning label, limiting specific uses, or prohibiting the manufacture of the chemical.
The Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 is not the only TSCA reform bill expected to be introduced in the 113th Congress. Senator David Vitter (R-LA), the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is also expected to introduce a Republican-sponsored TSCA reform bill. Details on Senator Vitter's bill have not yet been released, but it is expected to have the support of the American Chemistry Council.