House Subcommittee Convenes Hearing on TSCA
The House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment & the Economy held a legislative hearing Wednesday on the Lautenberg/Vitter Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S. 1009). This was the fourth House hearing on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) following three previous educational ones that were held over the course of the year. The hearing demonstrated the potential for continued progress in moving a TSCA reform bill this Congress. It was an opportunity to hear perspectives on the bipartisan bill. As with any legislation there were pros and cons identified, but most stakeholders are continuing to acknowledge that the Senate bill is clearly a step in the right direction.
Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) were on the first witness panel, touting the spirit of bipartisanship given the diverse makeup of the current 25 co-sponsors of the bill. Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), came afterwards, highlighting EPA’s principles for reform. While he said EPA has no formal position on the bill, he answered a substantial number of questions regarding the legislation that were revealing. When pressed on whether the bill was an improvement over the status quo, however, he said the it has improvements and shortcomings.
The final panel was made up of industry, NGOs and a law professor. They identified what they believed were positive and negative changes over the status quo.Interestingly, a representative from the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition of NGOs said the bill was a step backwards.
Based on witness testimonies and House member questioning, the main issues that will need to be resolved are preemption, deadlines, the safety standard, resources and private rights of action. SOCMA will work closely with House leadership as they continue to pursue TSCA reform.
For access to the webcast and witness testimonies click here. For a recap of the hearing, click here. For questions or comments please contact Dan Newton at (202) 721-4158.
What Members Are Saying…
“Several of our facilities are involved in processes related to food and feed applications and must be certified under various initiatives. We have found that in many cases the systems we have established under the ChemSystems program serve as great building platforms for meeting the requirements for these other certifications, and as a result the approval process has been greatly simplified.”