Legislative & Regulatory Issues

There are many legislative and regulatory issues facing the specialty chemical industry. With the recent introduction of two bills to reform the aging Toxic Substances Control Act, TSCA reform is one of the hottest industry issues on Capitol Hill.


Toxic Substances Control Act Reform

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, S. 697, was introduced March 10, 2015, by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA), along with 17 other original co-sponsors, to overhaul the nation’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act builds off the strong foundation of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009) Senator Vitter and the late Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced last Congress that eventually picked up 26 co-sponsors, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Numerous compromises were made in this latest bipartisan bill, which clearly strengthens the status quo, and is an improvement from S.1009.

The Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act strengthens the safety standard, mandates safety reviews for new and existing chemicals, strengthens protections for the most vulnerable, sets aggressive and attainable deadlines, and balances state and federal regulations.

SOCMA supports the legislation as a vehicle for reform and will closely track its progress.

Meanwhile, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced their own TSCA reform bill, the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, S. 725. The bill includes the “reasonable certainty of no harm” safety standard, eliminates preemption, requires industry to foot 100 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s costs with fees, and requires EPA to consider aggregate and cumulative exposures.

SOCMA considers this competing bill a non-starter and does not expect it to advance.

For more information please contact Dan Newton at (202) 721-4158.


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