Senators introduce bipartisan proposal to reform toxic chemical regulations

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 22, 2013 7:54 pm ET
Updated: May 22, 2013 8:00 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Public Policy, Sustainability, Government & Legislation
Companies & Associations Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.

WASHINGTON -- Dropping their dueling bills, two senators on Wednesday introduced a new measure that would modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by requiring new tests for chemicals already on the market and granting broad new regulatory authority to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Chemical Safety Act of 2013 was introduced by senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.), co-sponsored by a slate of 14 other senators from both sides of the aisle. The pair attempted to work together on revamping TSCA two years ago, but no final bill was ever presented and the effort eventually fizzled.

Congress has debated changing the chemical regulation law since it was originally signed in 1976, though the EPA announced reform initiatives in 2009, along with a new approach for evaluating and managing toxic chemicals safely under the existing law and a long list of chemicals the agency wanted to tackle first.

As introduced, the new measure would:

  • Require safety evaluation for all active chemicals already on the market, which must eventually be labeled as high- or low-risk to human health or the environment.
  • Require additional safety evaluation by the EPA for chemicals considered high-risk or particularly risky for children and pregnant women.
  • Expand EPA authority to include the authority to obtain health and safety information from manufacturers, prioritize rules regulating chemicals, imposing safety requirements such as labeling, and phasing out or banning chemicals is necessary.
  • Allow states and municipalities to have input on prioritization and safety assessment, including a timely response from EPA regarding local concerns.

The measure does not include provisions to require chemical companies to use less dangerous materials if they are determined to be comparable and readily available by the EPA, something environmental groups have pushed for in previous iterations but that the industry said would give the EPA too much control over operations without a full understanding of their processes or the potential impact of such a change.

TSCA reform and the Lautenberg-Vitter bill seems to have been introduced with industry support, including the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.

“SPI has long advocated TSCA updates that embrace 21st century scientific and technological advances, while enhancing the ability of the U.S. plastics industry to develop and utilize essential materials,” said SPI President Bill Carteaux.

“At a time when the chemical industry is driving a national manufacturing renaissance, a sensible, strong and workable bipartisan solution to modernize TSCA as laid out in the CSIA is more important than ever, not only for our industry, but for the countless others that rely on chemical products. We stand committed to work with the Senate to ensure passage of this compromise legislation.”


Comments

Senators introduce bipartisan proposal to reform toxic chemical regulations

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 22, 2013 7:54 pm ET
Updated: May 22, 2013 8:00 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Study: 100 times less plastic than expected polluting ocean surface

July 23, 2014 3:46 pm ET

There's as much as 100 times less plastic floating on surface of the world's oceans than would be expected given the mushrooming use of the material...    More

Image

Molder provides quality parts and quality work for disabled adults

July 23, 2014 2:40 pm ET

Coarc Manufacturing Inc. does injection molding, assembly and all of the work of traditional manufacturer, but it also serves as part of Coarc Inc. a ...    More

Image

DuPont quarterly sales drop, income rises

July 23, 2014 12:46 pm ET

DuPont Co.'s sales and net income experienced slight changes for the second quarter 2014, as operating earnings dropped to $1.17 per share in the...    More

OSHA probes alleged asthma link to Lear's Selma, Ala., plant

July 23, 2014 11:58 am ET

U.S. foam manufacturer Renosol Seating LLC is being investigated following allegations its workers are at risk of asthma from TDI exposure at its...    More

Image

Celanese to expand production in Brazil

July 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Celanese Corp., the Irving, Texas-based chemicals and specialty materials company, has announced that it will expand its manufacturing capabilities at...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events