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

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

Judge limits scope of jury verdict against JM Eagle

December 19, 2014 2:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Los Angeles said Dec. 18 that last year's jury verdict issued against J-M Manufacturing Co. — now JM Eagle — for...    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Image

Patel named LyondellBasell CEO

December 19, 2014 9:56 am ET

Bhavesh V. “Bob” Patel has been named CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, effective Jan. 12.    More

Image

Momentive to get a new name in January

December 19, 2014 9:45 am ET

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. will change its name to Hexion Inc., effective Jan. 15.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events