Industry backs newest proposal to update chemical regulations

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: March 5, 2014 12:47 pm ET
Updated: March 5, 2014 12:50 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Public Policy, United States
Companies & Associations American Chemistry Council

WASHINGTON — Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) is the latest member of Congress to step up to the plate to take a swing at chemical regulation reform, releasing a "discussion draft" of his bill, the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) to mixed reaction from industry and environmental groups alike.

The effort to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) would grant the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to designate chemicals as low or high priority, with high-priority chemicals getting a "rigorous scientific examination." The bill would let states take action on specific chemicals but preempt state rules when EPA makes a specific ruling on the safety of a chemical.

"It would create a common sense prioritization and evaluation program for all existing chemicals in commerce and establish a uniform federal standard to help better facilitate interstate commerce in chemicals and other downstream U.S. manufactured goods," said a House Energy and Commerce news release on the measure, which reads as just as much a commerce bill as it is a chemical regulation effort.

Shimkus said he plans to hold two hearings on the proposed bill, on top of the five his Environment and Economy Subcommittee has already held on what does and doesn't work well under TSCA.

"This discussion draft begins the legislative phase of the committee's work and I am hopeful we can get something across the finish line with strong bipartisan support," he said.

The draft bill already has the support of several plastics-related industry groups, ranging from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to the American Chemistry Council.

"The balanced approach taken in the draft Chemicals in Commerce Act will provide Americans with more confidence in the safety of chemicals, while at the same time encouraging innovation, economic growth and job creation by U.S. manufacturers," said ACC CEO Cal Dooley in a news release.

Critics are already lining up as well, saying the bill kowtows to industry without protecting humans or the environment, including the Center for Environmental Health, the Environmental Working Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families initiative.

"The draft ignores nearly every recommendation for reform made by health professionals, environmental experts, and advocates for families dealing with cancer, autism, infertility and other health problems linked to chemical exposure, but it adopts the wish list of oil and chemical companies like Dow and ExxonMobil," said Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, via email.

The House bill would be a companion to the Senate's Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), proposed last May as a compromise bill after more than a decade of disagreements on revamping TSCA. While the Senate measure has drawn more than 25 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, it remains parked in committee.


Comments

Industry backs newest proposal to update chemical regulations

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: March 5, 2014 12:47 pm ET
Updated: March 5, 2014 12:50 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Enor expanding in S.C., moving toy production to U.S. from China

August 20, 2014 4:01 pm ET

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has convinced toy producer Enor Corp. to expand U.S. production at the expense of sourcing from China.    More

Image

Ply Gem continues acquisition streak, buying Simonton for $130 million

August 20, 2014 2:33 pm ET

Building materials manufacturer Ply Gem Holdings Inc. will acquire Simonton Windows from Fortune Brands Home & Security in a $130 million deal that...    More

Image

Venture Plastics adds 720-ton press

August 20, 2014 2:03 pm ET

Venture Plastics Inc. expanded its El Paso, Texas, custom molding facility in early summer to grow sales.    More

North American Plastics Alliance celebrates three years, and welcomes Anipac

August 20, 2014 1:35 pm ET

Three years ago, the three leading plastics industry associations in the U.S. and Canada formally joined forces to create the North American Plastics ...    More

Image

Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities

August 20, 2014 1:06 pm ET

The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

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

More Events