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Senator Boxer Releases Confidential TSCA Reform Proposal

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has publicly released her proposed amendments to a confidential proposal that Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Thomas Udall (D-NM) have been working on for over a year to build bipartisan support for passage of TSCA reform. Senator Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has released a proposal that differs from other legislative proposals currently under discussion in very significant respects.  The mark ups, which do not stray far from early legislation introduced by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), indicate an entrenched view.  They signal support for reform in name only, and give no ground on decade-old ideas.  The Boxer mark-ups:

  • Raise the proposed safety standard to “no risk of harm”; 
  • Expand, without explanation of need, EPA’s regulatory authority over articles and mixtures;
  • Place specific time limits on the use of longstanding TSCA exemptions;
  • Limit the time and opportunity to make confidential business information claims;
  • Propose no federal preemption under any circumstances on state action on chemicals, even under the limited and reasonable circumstances currently allowed under the existing law;
  • Increase the number of chemicals that would be classified as “high priority” for agency review;
  • Shorten the deadlines for EPA to conclude extensive safety assessments and determinations;
  • Add a $100 million threshold before EPA can decide that it is not feasible to take regulatory action; and
  • Include increased and new user fees.

The complete bill is available for review here.