Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.
Today's the day: At or about 10 am EDT this morning, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will take up a major amendment offered by Senator Lautenberg to his Safe Chemicals Act, which would for the first time overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
[UPDATE Wednesday afternoon: The EPW Committee voted 10-8 to pass the amended Safe Chemicals Act!!]
Here are some things that should help you to make sense of it all.
- Yesterday's Committee hearing, with a focus on toxic flame retardants, lived up to expectations that it would solidify the case for TSCA reform. Among many highlights, Jim Jones, head of the EPA office that administers TSCA, noted repeatedly that, had EPA had more authority of the sort the Safe Chemicals Act would provide, it could have done more to identify and act against the flame retardant chemicals that all Americans now carry in our bodies. A former state legislator, a leading researcher and a firefighter offered compelling testimony of how the current federal system has failed us all. Watch the webcast of the hearing here.
- Here's the Committee's notice of and agenda for the markup. You'll notice that the session includes many items in addition to the Safe Chemicals Act, but I hear that the Safe Chemicals Act is expected to be first up. You should be able to watch a live or archived webcast from this same link.
- Here's the text of the amendment to the Safe Chemicals Act to be taken up; weighing in at 174 pages, that alone should tell you just how substantial the changes being proposed are.
- I don't expect many of you to have the time or attention span to wade through all that, and certainly not this morning, so here are two 2-page factsheets that summarize the key changes in the amendment:
I hope these links help you to tune in or otherwise follow today's events.