Comparing the Senate and House TSCA reform legislation: A side-by-side

Richard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.

[UPDATE 6-30-15: I have also posted a detailed side-by-side  comparison of the bills here.]

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576), its bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The Senate is poised to consider its own bill, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), within the next few weeks.

How would these bills address the key flaws in current TSCA?  The chart below provides a 35,000-foot-level comparison of the two bills.  It's also available as a PDF here.

Side-by-side page 1-4

 

Posted in Health Policy, TSCA Reform| Tagged , | Comments are closed

EDF Statement on House Passage of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576)

Richard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) appreciates the continued progress toward badly needed reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) represented by Tuesday’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of H.R. 2576, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015. The House has continued to work in a bipartisan manner on this legislation, essential to developing reform legislation that can be enacted into law. We appreciate the attention Representatives John Shimkus, Paul Tonko, Frank Pallone and Chairman Fred Upton have given to TSCA reform.

While EDF welcomes the progress the House’s action represents toward updating the nearly 40-year-old TSCA, we believe a final bill will need to make considerably stronger and more comprehensive reforms in order to live up to the promise of fixing the key flaws in current law.

EDF looks forward to working with all Members of Congress to ensure that the final legislation the President signs into law establishes a strong overall system of protection from dangerous chemicals, one that: ensures primary attention is given to the chemicals that EPA determines are of concern to health and the environment; provides for timely safety reviews for all new and existing chemicals against a purely health-based standard; gives EPA strong testing authority; broadens transparency and information access; provides adequate resources; and gives EPA robust authority to regulate chemicals presenting risks to the public.

Posted in Health Policy, TSCA Reform| Tagged | Comments are closed

EDF Statement on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Markup of TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576)

Richard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) appreciates the continued progress toward badly needed reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) represented by today’s markup of H.R. 2576, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Committee has continued to work in a bipartisan manner on this legislation, essential to developing reform legislation that can be enacted into law. We appreciate the attention Representatives John Shimkus, Paul Tonko, Frank Pallone and Chairman Fred Upton have given to TSCA reform.

While EDF welcomes the progress toward passage of H.R. 2576 in the House, we share the concerns expressed by Representative Diana DeGette and other Committee members that the legislation still needs significant work to live up to the promise of fixing the key flaws in current TSCA.

EDF looks forward to working with all Members of Congress to ensure that the final legislation the President signs into law establishes a strong overall system of protection from dangerous chemicals, one that: ensures primary attention is given to the chemicals that EPA determines are of concern to health and the environment; provides for timely safety reviews for all new and existing chemicals against a purely health-based standard; gives EPA strong testing authority; broadens transparency and information access; provides adequate resources; and gives EPA robust authority to regulate chemicals presenting risks to the public.

Posted in Health Policy, TSCA Reform| Tagged | Comments are closed

TSCA reform legislation: Consideration of costs and other non-risk factors

Richard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.

Part 1              Part 2              Part 3              Part 4              Part 5

[NOTES:  (1) This post reflects the latest versions of TSCA reform legislation:

(2) All of the earlier posts in this series have been updated to reflect these latest versions.]

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts looking at less talked-about, but critically important, elements of bipartisan legislative proposals to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  This post deals with how costs and other non-risk considerations factor into safety and regulatory risk management decisions.   Read More »

Posted in EPA, Health Policy, Regulation, TSCA Reform| Tagged , | Comments are closed

EDF statement on the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Markup of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015

Richard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.

The revised House TSCA discussion draft is another sign that chemical safety reform is set to move this Congress. We thank the members of the Committee for their continued bipartisan work. EDF looks forward to working with all Members of Congress to ensure that the final legislation the President signs into law establishes a strong overall system of protection from dangerous chemicals, and provides for timely safety reviews for all new and existing chemicals against a purely health-based standard, strong testing authority for EPA, broadened transparency and information access, adequate resources, and robust authority for EPA to regulate chemicals presenting risks to the public.

Posted in Health Policy, TSCA Reform| Comments are closed

UPDATED: Understanding Preemption in the Lautenberg Act

FRL21 Preemption sidebar UPDATEDRichard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.

[*UPDATED 5-8-15:  This is a new version of an earlier post that I’ve updated to reflect changes made to the preemption provisions in the bill as reported out by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on April 28, 2015.]

By far the most difficult and contentious aspect of the debate over reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the extent of federal preemption of state authority.  The range of positions on this is truly gigantic, from zero preemption at one end of the spectrum to full-field preemption effective upon enactment (the position espoused by some in industry).

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697) has landed somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, with some stakeholders saying it still goes too far and others saying not far enough.  And wherever you land on that question, it should be acknowledged that preemption in the bill is more extensive than under current TSCA, but much less extensive than it was in the predecessor to the Lautenberg Act, 2013’s Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA).

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding preemption in the Lautenberg Act.  So in this post, I describe how preemption works under the bill, and what is and is not preempted.

In the sidebar is a summary of the key preemption provisions of the Lautenberg Act.  The rest of this post is a deeper dive for those who want one.

Preemption under the Lautenberg Act

The first thing to recognize is that any preemption that applies is always chemical-specific and directly matches the nature and scope of the triggering federal action.  That is, preemption attaches only when EPA acts on the same chemical that has been or would be subject to a state action, and only when EPA considers the need for or takes the same type of action as has been or would be taken by a state.  And preemption is limited to the scope of the EPA action (for example, the specific uses of a chemical considered by EPA).

Outside of these boundaries, states are free to act on chemicals.  The new system would be similar to the current system except when EPA decides a chemical is a high priority and may require federal action.

Below I discuss the major components to the preemption provisions of the Lautenberg Act.

Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, States, TSCA Reform| Tagged | Comments are closed
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