House Energy & Commerce Environment and the Economy Subcommittee chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) has unveiled draft legislation to modernize the regulations of chemicals in commerce. The Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) keys off a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate and provides a solution to improve public confidence in the safety of chemicals produced and used in the US and to encourage innovation and job creation, according to the Energy & Commerce Committee.
“Over the past year, our subcommittee has set out on a comprehensive review of chemical regulation,” said Shimkus. “We held a total of five hearings examining what has worked in the current law and what can be improved. Through our evaluation, we determined that in order to have a system that works best for public safety and our economy, we must modernize the regulatory process.”
According to the legislator, the draft provides much-needed updates and improvements to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). It reforms the law to ensure a transparent, workable and risk-based process for chemical review and regulation. It would create a commonsense priorization and evaluation program for all existing chemicals in commerce and establish a uniform federal standard to help better facilitate interstate commerce in chemicals and other downstream US manufactured goods.
The bill would also broaden access to specific chemical information while maintaining protection of intellectual property.
“Chairman Shimkus has brought forth an important contribution in the effort to strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act. We applaud his ongoing efforts to listen to a variety of stakeholders and encourage bipartisan support on an issue that’s critical to the cleaning product supply chain,” said Ernie Rosenberg, president, ACI. “We believe that improvements in TSCA should reflect recent progress in science and technology and advance further innovations. A strengthened TSCA has the potential to promote even greater innovation in the development of evermore-sustainable cleaning products.
Rosenberg added that ACI would continue to work with Republicans and Democrats and the industry supply chain “to bring about congressional passage of a smart, modern, credible, science-based approach to regulating chemicals in commerce at the federal level.”
On the same topic, American Chemistry Council (ACC) president and CEO Cal Dooley issued the following statement:
“We applaud Chairman Shimkus’ commitment to creating a more effective chemical regulatory system and welcome the draft Chemicals in Commerce Act of 2014. The release of this discussion draft is another positive development that adds to the growing effort in Congress—including the bipartisan Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) pending in the Senate—to reform our nation’s primary chemical management law. The balanced approach taken in the draft Chemicals in Commerce Act will provide Americans with more confidence in the safety of chemicals, while at the same time encouraging innovation, economic growth and job creation by US manufacturers.”
“Updating TSCA is critical for our industry; one that creates the building blocks for 96% of all manufactured goods, playing a fundamental role in every facet of national commerce and the US economy.”