Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been a hot button topic for the last few years, and just a few weeks ago Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Lautenberg (D-NJ) released a bi-partisan legislation that has received a lot of attention. The Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (CSIA) ended up being Sen. Lautenberg’s last attempt at reforming TSCA as he passed away on June 3, and many in both parties hope that they can come together to push this bill forward as an honor to Lautenberg who championed TSCA reform until his passing. We blogged about the bill upon its release, but now we will take a look at what other groups are saying about the legislation.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) which represents a number of companies in the chemical industry released a statement in support of the legislation. Part of the statement reads, “The business of chemistry creates the building blocks for 96 percent of all manufactured goods and is a key driver of the U.S. economy. Reforming TSCA in a way that supports safety, jobs and innovation is important for American consumers, U.S. chemical producers and American businesses of all kinds, as well as their workers. These principles are at the foundation of the CSIA.”
The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) is very hopeful that the introduction of CSIA will result in a common sense piece of legislation that reasserts America at the forefront of chemical management.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has a different view of the legislation and sent a letter to Senator Feinstein (D-CA) detailing their concerns. At the top of their concerns is they believe the legislation as is would preempt California’s green chemistry program and Proposition 65. Josh Tooker, deputry director for legislation with DTSC said in the letter that “DTSC is very concerned that the bar has been set too high for obtaining state waivers from the expanded preemption provisions in the bill.”
Like DTSC, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a release against the bill as currently drafted. NRDC believes the current legislation leaves too many “gaps in protecting the public.” They state that the bill doesn’t give any hard deadlines for the EPA to follow for when to review or take action on chemicals.
The legislation as it stands has 20 bi-partisan cosponsors. Sen. Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, plans to bring the bill to committee for markup at some point this summer most likely; however she believes the bill has a long way to go before it can be passed. She would like the current bill, which she believes caters too much toward industry, to move more towards legislation that Sen. Lautenberg released in previous years. Some give and take will still be required from both parties as they work to pass a TSCA reform bill that Sen. Lautenberg would be proud of.