Many communities have been calling on the federal government to help address the PFAS drinking water crisis. And this week Congress is working to address it in a couple of ways.
As you may know, staff from both chambers of Congress have nearly completed work reconciling different versions of chemical safety reform legislation (TSCA reform) that passed last year. (H.R. 2576 and S. 697 respectively.) Reportedly, there is at least one major sticking point remaining: should states be blocked for up to 4 years from taking action against a toxic chemical while EPA studies the chemical?
Today, more than 125 organizations sent a letter to House and Senate committee leaders spelling out in detail how the “best of both” TSCA bills emerging from the House and Senate could be combined. The groups said they would support a final bill that reflected the recommendations in the letter.
The Value of Knowing and Caring about What’s Actually in Legislation
It looks as though the Senate is likely to vote on TSCA reform this week and the propaganda machine is in full swing. Yesterday, I took a call from New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, thinking he was writing about the legislation and what the issues were. I didn’t realize he was actually writing a column about us, instigated, as he admits, by his “old friend” at the Environmental Defense Fund’s affiliate. The column is flat wrong, but it also provides an opportunity to talk about where we are and what’s at stake.
The Senate bill would preempt states earlier, creating a regulatory “void,” in which neither federal or state governments can restrict chemicals.