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ACC's Dooley to testify in support of Chemical Safety Improvement bill

By: Jeremy Carroll

November 12, 2013

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) has garnered support from manufacturers, some labor groups and even environmental groups because the “delicately crafted compromise will enhance public safety while preserving the ability of American manufacturers to develop new, life-changing innovations,” American Chemistry Council CEO Cal Dooley is expected to tell a House subcommittee.

Dooley is one of nine witnesses expected to testify on the bill during an Environment and the Economy Committee hearing scheduled for Nov. 13. The hearing will discuss Senate Bill 1009 which aims to update the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act.

The bill was introduced earlier this year by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and has 25 co-sponsors in the Senate. It has not been voted on in either chamber. The reform would require new tests for the 85,000 chemicals already on the U.S. market and expand the regulatory authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA would also be required to make more information available to the public.

The bill is a compromise backed by the American Alliance for Innovation, which includes a variety of plastics and plastics-related trade groups, including the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI), ACC, the Plastics Pipe Institute and the Styrene Information and Research Center.

“We are hopeful that with continued leadership from this committee and from bipartisan leaders in the Senate we can seize this truly unique opportunity to pass legislation that is important to the lives of American families and the success of American manufacturers,” Dooley is expected to say, according to his prepared remarks posted on the committee’s website.

There does remain opposition to the bill, including some environmental groups who say the measure doesn’t go far enough in protecting the public against harmful chemicals.

Richard Denison, senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, said the bill needs “significant changes if is actually to deliver the promised reforms,” according to his written testimony. But the problems in the bill “are fixable and can be addressed in a manner that ensures protection of public health while retaining bipartisan support critical to the passage of the legislation.”