The US Senate passed legislation last night to reform the nearly 40 year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The legislation had been approved by the US House of Representatives on May 24, 2016. The legislation awaits the signature of President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
Requiring the EPA to make an affirmative safety determination before a new chemical can be brought to market;
For years, TSCA Reform has been a key issue for companies in the household and personal products industry. SC Johnson applauded final passage by the Senate this week.
"This legislation is a win for families and I am thrilled to see it finally approved. This modernization of TSCA raises the standard for all companies and can help provide the public with confidence that the products they use in their homes are safe for their intended uses," said Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. "The strong bipartisan support of this legislation also sends a very positive message. I especially want to thank the Senators and House members who led this effort, and the Wisconsin members of Congress who supported the legislation."
As part of the TSCA reform, for the first time, the EPA will be required to systematically prioritize all chemicals currently in commerce for safety evaluations, SCJohnson noted. Other key reforms to this legislation include:
Promoting greater transparency in the TSCA program by reforming the way in which confidential business information is protected and shared;
Promoting application of a uniform federal chemical management program through limited and reasonable preemption of state regulatory authority;
Providing EPA with adequate resources, through fees on industry, to help defray the costs of administering a revamped TSCA program.
Many industry groups and associations applauded the measure as well.
“The Senate’s passage of this legislation paves the way for modernizing our outdated chemical safety regulations. This is an exceptional bipartisan achievement in a time otherwise marked by extreme partisanship." said Ernie Rosenberg, president and CEO, American Cleaning Institute. “The American Cleaning Institute was happy to be able to contribute to the passage of the first update to TSCA in 40 years. This bill – the top legislative priority for ACI and our members – will further enable our industry’s ongoing work to develop and innovate more sustainable cleaning products.
According to Rosenberg, as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to implement the new law, ACI will be thoroughly engaged in the regulatory process on behalf of its member companies.
“We are proud of the role we have played in the process of TSCA modernization over the past eight years,” said Chris Cathcart, president and CEO of the Consumer Specialty Products Association. “When the late Senator Frank Lautenberg began this effort to reform TSCA, CSPA committed to working in good faith with everyone in the House and Senate and with stakeholders on all sides of the issue. We have stood by our commitment throughout the process, and the final legislation reflects CSPA’s input on behalf of our members and the input of NGOs and allied trade associations.”
According to American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley, the legislation is significant not only because it is the first major environmental law passed since 1990, but because TSCA reform will have lasting and meaningful benefits for all American manufacturers, all American families and for the US' standing as the world's leading innovator.
"The path to more modern chemical regulation has been decades in the making and it's been over three years since work to achieve TSCA reform began in earnest," said Dooley. "The introduction of the first bipartisan bill to reform TSCA by Senators Frank Lautenberg and David Vitter in May, 2013, was the initial step in what has been a long and arduous journey. We are extremely grateful to Senators Inhofe, Vitter and Udall and their staffs for their unwavering dedication and countless hours of hard work, without which the realization of TSCA reform would not have been possible. We look forward to the enactment of H.R. 2576 by President Obama in the coming days."