Toxic Reform Bill Needs to be Improved to Protect Public from Dangerous Chemicals

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2013) – Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) announced this week they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to update the Toxic Substances Control Act, which hasn’t been modernized since it was passed in 1976.

Daniel Rosenberg, senior attorney in the public health program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made these comments on the Lautenberg-Vitter “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013” bill:

“Senators Lautenberg and Vitter deserve credit for working on a bipartisan proposal to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a law that has never accomplished its goal of protecting the public from dangerous chemicals.  NRDC has long been interested in seeing bipartisan reform enacted, and this bill is a step in that direction. 

“However, we cannot support the bill as currently drafted because it still leaves too many gaps in protecting the public.  To cite just one important example, the bill establishes no statutory deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review chemicals or take appropriate action. This could mean that the bill ends up being just as much a dead letter as TSCA has proven to be.  We look forward to working with all interested parties to improve this proposal so effective chemical reform can move forward.”