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March 13, 2015

New Bipartisan TSCA Legislation Introduced In Senate


March 10, 2015, Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced
the Frank
R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act
, a
bipartisan bill that would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The
bill has 15 co-sponsors — seven Democrats and eight Republicans. The bill
builds on the proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act offered by Senator
Vitter and the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in 2013. According to the
overview provided on Senator Udall’s webpage
, the 2015 bill
clarifies that cost cannot be a consideration factor in determining chemical
safety, provides a definition for “vulnerable populations,” and
implements specific deadlines for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) in evaluating existing chemicals. The bill attempts to address the most
contentious issue surrounding TSCA reform — state preemption. Under the
proposal, state chemical regulations in place prior to January 2015 would be
grandfathered. In addition, states would be able to act on chemical
restrictions until and unless EPA takes up the same chemical for the same use
applications, and can request a waiver to set different regulations than EPA
during the safety assessment and final rule. The goal is to have a uniform
federal standard for the entire nation, which increases regulatory certainty
while still protecting citizens.  See the
detailed analysis of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act  prepared by BRAG affiliate Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.