Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Lead Senior Scientist.
[UPDATE 9-25-14: I have updated this post to link directly to a copy of the Udall-Vitter TSCA reform proposal, which – though not released by the Senators – is now available online here. My analysis of that proposal in this post remains unchanged. With a copy of the Udall-Vitter proposal now available online, I have also updated the introduction to my post, including removing some description of the back and forth that occurred last week].
The last week has seen the release of two proposals to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) have been negotiating for much of the last year on a bipartisan TSCA reform proposal that heavily reworks nearly the entirety of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA, S. 1009), a bill originally introduced in May 2013 by Vitter and the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). A notable exception is CSIA’s controversial preemption section, which was excluded from the scope of the Udall-Vitter negotiations.
On September 18, Senator Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, released her own proposal, which is in the form of a redline of the Udall-Vitter proposal.
This is the first of a series of three posts I’ll do examining these two proposals. In this one I’ll take a deep dive into the Udall-Vitter proposal to show how it addresses the key concerns raised about CSIA and demonstrate that, by any objective measure, it represents a dramatic improvement over current federal law. In the second post, I’ll examine the specific claims made by critics of the Udall-Vitter proposal. In the third post, I’ll examine some of the features of the proposal from Senator Boxer, and conclude with why these two proposals present an opportunity. Read More