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TSCA Proponent Lautenberg Passes at 89

July 10, 2013

US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) passed away last month at the age of 89. The cause was viral pneumonia.

Sen. Lautenberg played a key role in modernizing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Lautenberg-Vitter “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013,” introduced in May, would:
  • Require safety evaluations for all chemicals;
  • Protect public health from unsafe chemicals;
  • Prioritize chemicals for review;
  • Screen new chemicals for safety;
  • Secure necessary health and safety information;
  • Promote innovation and safer chemistry; and
  • Protect children and pregnant women.
Industry praised Lautenberg’s TSCA reform efforts, noting that if the Senator hadn’t supported the measure, co-sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-LA), it never would have garnered widespread support in the Senate.

In a statement, the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) said:

“Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) served in the US Senate with integrity, passion and commitment in all things, but none more so than his call to strengthen national policies to protect public health and advance chemical safety. The Consumer Specialty Products Association has been fortunate to have worked closely with him over the past five years on TSCA reform. We are saddened by his passing but know that his legacy is strong and will continue to provide leadership for others who follow.”

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) issued the following statement from Ernie Rosenberg, president and CEO:

“On behalf of the American Cleaning Institute, I want to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends, staff and constituents of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Our thoughts and prayers will be with all of them in the days and weeks to come. We know that he was very passionate about modernizing our nation’s chemical safety laws. It is gratifying to know that he was able to see bipartisan legislation introduced that represents a real breakthrough after many years of discussion. It is our hope that we will find ways to honor his memory and his legacy on this issue in the months to come.”

To fill Lautenberg’s vacant seat, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as an interim US senator until a special election is held in October.
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