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American Coatings Association Pushing for TSCA Reform Bills

ACA has supported two bills: the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, S. 697, which passed the U.S. Senate on Dec. 17, 2015, and a House of Representatives bill, H.R. 2576, which passed June 23, 2015, on a 398-1 vote.

The American Coatings Association, a nonprofit trade association for the paint and coatings industry,this week urged Congress to finalize a bill that will reform the Toxic Substances Control Act as soon as possible. TSCA reform has been in the works for years and advocated strongly by some in Congress, including the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in 2013, but a final bill has yet to emerge during this Congress.

ACA has supported two bills: the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, S. 697, which passed the U.S. Senate on Dec. 17, 2015, and a House of Representatives bill, H.R. 2576, which passed June 23, 2015, on a 398-1 vote.

The TSCA was enacted in 1976; advocates of reform bills say it does not give EPA sufficient authority to regulate chemicals, and that many chemicals now on the market have never been evaluated for safety.

ACA noted in an April 26 online article that urged quick action to get a final bill out of conference that EPA, which is responsible for implementing and enforcing TSCA, supports TSCA reform and told Congress which parts of each bill it preferred in a letter dated Jan. 20, 2016.

"ACA has been pushing for modernization of the 40-year-old federal statute for the past five years, with the rationale that a strong federal chemicals management program is essential to avoid a patchwork of varied state chemicals management regulations," according to the article. "ACA supports a modernized, federal chemicals management program that will not only improve the public's confidence on the safety of chemicals, but will also provide businesses with much-needed certainty and consistency in the marketplace. While ACA applauds the progress that has been made to date, given that 2016 is an election year and the many remaining issues Congress must address (including the Supreme Court vacancy), the window of opportunity to pass legislation narrows every week. When it comes to TSCA Reform, time is truly of the essence. It is important that the coatings industry encourage Members of Congress to continue to be engaged and push for a timely resolution on TSCA reform as soon as possible."

The article asks members to use ACA's Coatings Connect grassroots advocacy website to submit a dedicated form letter to their own member of Congress, and it says ACA President Andy Doyle sent a letter recently to Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chair of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who authored the House bill and has been a leader of TSCA reform efforts in the House for years.

The American Chemistry Council also is pushing for passage of a final TSCA reform bill, with its goal being keeping provisions from both the House and Senate bills that support a cohesive national regulatory system, including Senate language that pauses states' ability to enact new restrictions on a specific chemical while EPA conducts a risk assessment.

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