TSCA reform bill signed in to law, and advocates react

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

TSCA reform bill signed in to law, and advocates react

Related tags: Barack obama

Today President Barak Obama signed legislation updating the Toxic Substances Control Act, modernizing policies (that hadn’t been revised for decades) on chemical use in consumer goods like cosmetics and personal care items.

Since the signing, feedback has been pouring in from an array of stakeholder groups and organizations. Even specialty chemical company employees got in on the action, Tweeting out messages about the signing.

Mixed response

The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition’s director Andy Igrejas weighed in with this:

“President Obama’s signature on this bill marks both the end of a long process, and the beginning of a new chapter as the EPA puts its new authority to work. The chemical backlog is enormous. It's vital that EPA starts strong and extracts the maximum public health benefits possible from the new law.”

“Because of the limitations in this bill, however, it will also be crucial that the growing demand for safer chemicals continue across society, from state and local governments, retailers, manufacturers and informed consumers.”

The Environmental Working Group chimed in swiftly too: “While this legislation falls short of what’s needed, we’re hopeful that President Obama will give the EPA the direction and resources needed to quickly review, regulate and, if needed, ban the most dangerous chemicals in commerce,” ​Scott Faber that group’s senior vice president for government affairs tells the press, adding that “unless EPA acts to quickly remove chemicals linked to cancer from everyday products, the burden will continue to falls on states and consumers.”

And the American Chemistry Council spoke up to say that now, “chemical evaluation and regulation will meet new 21st century standards, which will improve the lives of American families, support American manufacturing and bolster U.S. economic growth,” ​according to the council’s president and CEO Cal Dooley.

He went on to highlight the council’s involvement and name some of officials in the mix: “For the past three years, ACC and our coalition partners, the American Alliance for Innovation (AAI), have worked together to support bipartisan efforts to modernize TSCA in a way that ensures smart, effective chemical regulation,” ​says Dooley.

“We applaud President Obama for signing this legislation into law, and we are incredibly grateful for the tireless work and unwavering commitment from Senators Inhofe, Vitter, Udall and Markey and Congressmen Shimkus and Pallone to bipartisan TSCA reform.”

Legal ordeal

Many see the reform as a first step and are curious to see how the Environmental Protection Agency will implement and fund the new protocols.

The reform calls for numerous chemicals of concern to be formally evaluated by the EPA and for that agency to have to agree that any new chemical can be introduced in consumer goods going forward (rather than using the “innocent until proven guilty “ approach, as Time magazine calls the current policy).

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