The Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) welcomed a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would move forward the modernization of the nation’s chemical regulatory law.Earlier this summer, Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D CA) released a draft discussion bill on which CSPA commented.
“We commend Chairmen Rush and Waxman for their decision to engage in a stakeholder process in the House prior to introducing their bill. The process worked; while much work needs to be done on the new bill, the stakeholder sessions resulted in positive changes and a collaborative framework for further discussions,” said CSPA President Chris Cathcart. “We support the approach taken in the legislation to direct EPA to implement a risk-based approach that will consider both intended use and exposure in their review and assessment of safety for a chemical substance.CSPA member companies have committed to providing EPA the use and exposure information they need to complete a safety determination on chemicals in commerce.”
“We all agree that it is time to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 given the more than three decades of scientific and technological advancements since TSCA was enacted. A modernized TSCA will help improve confidence in the safety of chemical used in the United States,” Cathcart said.
TSCA provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the regulatory authority over chemicals in commerce. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introducedThe Safe Chemicals Act of 2010in May.
“The Committee approach to engage stakeholders in the process recognizes both the complexity of this regulatory system as well as the high priority placed on developing a chemical management policy that works to protect public health and the environment,” Cathcart continued. “These are goals shared by all stakeholders.”
“We appreciate revisions from the draft that allow companies to claim confidential business information (CBI) protection under TSCA; however, we urge the Committee to provide flexibility for EPA to establish appropriate ‘triggers’ for re-substantiation of CBI claims rather than an arbitrary five-year expiration timeline,” Cathcart said. “We maintain our support for up-front substantiation for CBI that allows U.S. industry to maintain a competitive edge in a very challenging global economy.”
“We support a federal policy to regulate chemicals in commerce rather than a patchwork quilt of state laws that would make it difficult or even impossible to bring products to the marketplace,” Cathcart continued. “This bill introduced today has taken steps in the right direction and we look forward to our ongoing work with both the House and Senate.”
CSPA advocates the following in a modernized TSCA:
- ensuring the EPA has proper exposure and use data
- establishing a mechanism and deadlines to prioritize chemicals for review and assessment by EPA
- providing clarification on what chemicals present risk to public health and/or the environment
- determining what improvements will promote and not stifle innovation
- providing appropriate funding for EPA