Senate Passes TSCA Reform Bill

"Some days you might not think we could pass a major environmental law in this Congress. But we've proven that wrong, and we have a very strong bill. Our bill finally gives the EPA the authority it needs. It sets clear guidelines for the EPA to evaluate new and existing chemicals and to protect the American people," said U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

Acting on a unanimous voice vote Dec. 18, the U.S. Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, a reform bill to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

"With the recent passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act which the Senate unanimously agreed to pass, Congress has a historic opportunity to enact the first major environmental law rewrite in decades. The overwhelming support of this bill shows the great need to responsibly update this almost 40 year-old law and direct EPA to ensure greater protection for American families as well as our national economy through a transparent and scientifically rigorous process. This bill creates regulatory certainty for businesses not only in the United States, but across the world," said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The Senate bill must now be reconciled with a bill passed earlier by the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said, "We're on the verge of historic reform decades in the making and decades overdue. TSCA is the last of the environmental laws from the 1960s and 70s left to be updated. Some days you might not think we could pass a major environmental law in this Congress. But we've proven that wrong, and we have a very strong bill. Our bill finally gives the EPA the authority it needs. It sets clear guidelines for the EPA to evaluate new and existing chemicals and to protect the American people. That is why support for this bill was so strong and continued to build from environmental, conservation, good government, industry, and health and labor groups.

"We'll be working to reconcile the bill with the House legislation. This is historic reform. The old TSCA will be obsolete. We'll have a cop on the beat. We'll finally be able to protect our kids from toxic chemicals," Udall added. He thanked several colleagues for their work to pass the measure, including Inhofe and Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Edward Markey, D-Mass.; and Chris Coons, D-Del.

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