Legislative History: The path to TSCA Reform
In the 111th Congress, both the Senate and House introduced legislation to revamp TSCA. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) sponsored the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 and Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) unveiled the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010.
Congress held eight public hearings that created unprecedented traction in favor of federal chemical policy reform. Below is a summary of legislation, news, and events related to TSCA reform from the 111th Congress.
Legislation introduced in Congress in 2010 was not the first attempt to fix our nation’s flawed system for regulating toxic chemicals, but it was the first time that both chemical industry lobbyists and public health advocates agreed that we can’t delay change any longer — the scientific evidence was too overwhelming; the public outcry too loud.
As Representative Rush said, "While the federal government’s ability to effectively monitor, test or otherwise oversee assorted industries will be strengthened through our legislation, right now our nation is bearing the brunt of decades of lax to non-existent federal oversight and the harm to consumers is immeasurable."
Read the 2010 Toxic Chemicals Safety Act (H.R. 5820) factsheet
Read our 2010 analysis of the Senate and House bills
Read the 2010 House Bill (H.R.5820) on THOMAS
Read the 2010 Senate Bill (S.3209) on THOMAS
Read the 2010 side-by-side comparison of both bills to reform TSCA (PDF)
The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition supported the goals of both bills and worked closely with Congress to fine-tune the legislation to reflect the concerns of the health care providers, scientists, advocates for the learning and developmentally disabled, and all the millions of individuals we represent.
"There has never been more momentum to reform our federal chemical policy," said Andy Igrejas, Director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition.
"We're saying those who make the chemicals ...ought to be responsible for testing them first before they're release to the public, instead of having the EPA play detective to search and try to find problems."
Senator Frank Lautenberg
Much-Needed Legislation Would Protect Americans from Unsafe Chemicals
Washington, DC – Led by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), 29 senators today introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013. The legislation would provide long overdue fixes to the nation’s broken chemical policies and limit the use of unsafe chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses.
Andy Igrejas, executive director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition of 450 health, environment, business and labor groups said:
"Americans across the political spectrum have woken up to the fact that unregulated toxic chemicals get into their homes and their bodies. It is uniformly unnerving. The Safe Chemicals Act would establish common sense limits on these chemicals that are broadly popular and long overdue."
Similar to a bill cleared by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in the 112th Congress, the Safe Chemicals Act would go a long way toward protecting Americans from chemicals before they are linked to reproductive and developmental disorders, cancers and other illnesses that are costly to treat and often preventable. Specifically, it would:
- Require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify and restrict the "worst of the worst" chemicals.
- Require basic health and safety information for chemicals as a condition for entering or remaining on the market.
- Upgrade scientific methods for assessing chemical safety.
- Arm the EPA with the authority it needs to restrict chemicals that pose health and environmental concerns.
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For more information, contact: Tony Iallonardo, at email@example.com or 202-503-8581.