Date: Apr 15, 2011
On April 14, 2011, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) re-introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847) to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Al Franken (D-MN). Highlights include:
"New" prioritization element. EPA would have to classify chemicals into one of three categories. Slated for immediate risk management would be substances that are or degrade/metabolize into a persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substance (PBT) with the potential for widespread exposure to humans or other organisms.
Elimination of the article exemption. This year's bill takes a surprising turn in its attempt to abolish this well-established and globally recognized exemption by making chemical substances in articles subject to its provisions.
Virtually unfettered state authority to regulate. States could be prevented from adopting requirements that are different from or in addition to EPA regulations only if it could be shown that it is impossible to comply with both.
Safety standard and minimum data set provisions. Finding that there is "reasonable certainty that no harm will result to human health or the environment from aggregate exposure to the substance" continues to be the proposed as the new U.S. chemical control safety standard, and minimum data regarding physical and chemical characteristics, toxicological properties, exposure, and use would be required for "existing" and "new" chemicals.