Big Senate Fight Set on TSCA Reform

Many parties are jostling for advantage as two competing bills are moving.

Pending bills to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act are now at the top of Congress' list. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2576 by a vote of 398-1 last week, and the U.S. Senate will now consider its own version of TSCA reform, S. 697. Many organizations are keenly interested in this contest, from the International Association of Fire Fighters to the big chemical trade associations and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The law gives EPA authority to restrict chemicals in commerce, and virtually all parties believe it is out of date and ineffective. IAFF reports firefighters who are exposed to multiple toxic substances on a daily basis want to ban and regulate toxic chemicals such as flame retardants. But the chemical industry for the most part is resisting such changes.

IAFF considers the House bill to be superior to the Senate's bill because the House bill does not preempt state actions until the EPA issues a final determination on the safety of a chemical. "The Senate bill, however, establishes a complicated preemption process which would preempt state actions on certain chemicals during the EPA’s review of such chemicals," according to IAFF.

The American Chemistry Council is another player in this drama. ACC applauded the House vote on the "TSCA Modernization Act of 2015" and previously laid out its policy on TSCA reform:

  • TSCA modernization must place protecting public health as its highest priority, including consideration of safety for children.
  • Modernization must derive from core principles, including making sure chemicals are safe for intended use; making sure safety decisions are cost effective and expeditious; prioritizing chemicals to determine which substances warrant additional review and assessment; utilizing all reliable information; and making safety information public while protecting intellectual property.
  • To ensure confidence in safety regulations, EPA's decisions must be based on a strong scientific framework that uses modern technology, proven safety testing methods, and high-quality data.
  • EPA's program that approves new chemicals enables innovation in American chemistry by evaluating safety information, requiring testing to fill any information gaps, and protecting intellectual property works well and must be retained.
  • While the United States should learn from other jurisdictions, Congress must not jump to conclusions about the appropriateness of other chemicals management systems for the United States. For example, the European Union's REACH program is often cited as a model, but its effectiveness has yet to be proven. Canada's approach to prioritization and review may provide an effective model for some changes to TSCA.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • EHS Management Software Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2021

    March 2021

    Featuring:

    • EMPLOYEE TESTING
      The Impact of COVID-19 on Drug Testing
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Preparing for Unpredictable Spring Weather
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Building a Comprehensive Floor Safety Strategy
    • GAS DETECTION
      Gas Hazards and the COVID-19 Vaccine
    View This Issue