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 Public Policy, Materials, 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

Meredian merging with Danimer Scientific

July 24, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. is merging with its sister firm, Danimer Scientific LLC.    More

Image

US Bioplastics receives funding to bring Gatoresin to the market

July 24, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Materials maker U.S. Bioplastics is hoping its Gatoresin product will take a bite out of the bioplastics market, thanks to funding from a state...    More

Image

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

Image

3-D printing a giant for Comic-Con

July 24, 2014 11:17 am ET

Minneapolis-based 3-D printing specialist Stratasys Ltd. has collaborated with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, Legacy Effects, Condé Nast...    More

Image

BASF posts growth in second quarter

July 24, 2014 11:08 am ET

German chemical giant, BASF SE, has announced a 1 percent growth in sales for the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 20...    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