Senate Committee Passes Safe Chemicals Act on Party Line Vote

NRDC: “Outside the Beltway, Toxic Chemicals Protection Is Not a Partisan Issue”

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2012) -- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today approved long-overdue legislation to reform the 35-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The following is a statement from Daniel Rosenberg, director of the toxic chemicals reform project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, on the Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847):

“Americans today moved one step closer to the chemical protections we deserve. For the first time since 1976, comprehensive TSCA reform has been voted out of a committee. This sets the stage for the Senate to finally give the Environmental Protection Agency the tools it needs to protect all of us from toxic chemicals found in products we use every day.

“While the panel voted along party lines, with all Republicans opposing the measure, outside the Beltway support for stronger protections against toxic chemicals is not a partisan issue. The public is fully aware of the health threats posed by toxic chemicals and strongly supports updating this broken, outdated and ineffective law.

“For years the chemical industry has been declaring the Safe Chemicals Act dead, but reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Background: The Safe Chemicals Act, introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., updates the Toxic Substances Control Act by requiring manufacturers to prove their chemicals are safe in order to sell them. It also streamlines the EPA’s ability to limit uses of a chemical that may harm our health or the environment.

For details on the legislation, see Daniel Rosenberg’s blog post here: Something's Coming, Something Good: Despite Chemical Industry Opposition, Safe Chemicals Act Gets Vote in Senate EPW Committee.

A nationwide poll and four separate, statewide polls released last week by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Coalition, and the Ecology Center all found  overwhelming bipartisan public support for bolstering protections against toxic chemicals.

For more information on the polls, see Daniel Rosenberg’s blog post here: New Polls Show Public Support for Chemical Reform as Flame Retardant Scandal Prods Senate to Act.