Bill Protecting Against Chemicals is a Step Forward, but Needs Further Improvements

WASHINGTON (April 28, 2015) – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today approved a chemical safety bill that would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which empowers the Environmental Protection Agency to better protect public health and the environment.  The 1976 law is widely considered a failure because most chemicals have remained untested and unregulated.

The following is a statement by Daniel Rosenberg, senior attorney in the Health and Environment Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, on committee approval of the bill:

“This is an important step forward. The action should lock in place the significant improvements in the bill that resulted from the tenacious efforts of Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). NRDC will continue to work to improve the bill as it moves through the legislative process, including by eliminating the remaining rollbacks from current law, increasing public health protections and further ensuring that no EPA could use the bill to weaken chemical safety.  The committee today unfortunately rejected several amendments that would have addressed many of these concerns.

“The latest version of the bill includes numerous changes that have been sought by NRDC and our coalition partners to better protect health and the environment, and we will continue to talk to anyone interested in making progress on this bill.

"We also want to thank Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for her stalwart opposition to the bill as originally introduced, which would have been a giant step backward; Ed Markey (D-MA) for his work to improve the bill; and Tom Udall (D-NM) for his willingness to remain at the negotiating table.” 


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