Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Senator Lautenberg & Representative Rush to Introduce TSCA Chemical Reform Bill TODAY [Updated]

Today's the day!

Ever since Senator Frank Lautenberg said over a year ago that he would introduce some version of his Kid Safe Chemical Act to reform TSCA "soon," we've been waiting for "soon" to come. And today it did. Sort of.

By the time you read this the bill may already have "dropped." But word has it that this may be considered somewhat of a "discussion draft" more than a bill that will be pushed through this session of Congress. So this bill will be just the beginning of a long process that realistically will have to continue with the reintroduction (yet again) of a bill in the next session of Congress beginning January 2011.

In a way that is a good thing. It allows more time for a workable law to be developed that reconciles the very different visions put forth by industry and by the advocacy groups. With a contentious mid-term election season and several other major pieces of legislation on the docket, getting TSCA reformed this year seems to be nearly impossible.

More later after it is released.

Oh, Senator Lautenberg will introduce the Senate version and Representative Rush the mirror House version. Rush and Representative Waxman are expected to hold weekly meetings with stakeholders during the rest of April and May in an attempt to reach a consensus on key aspects of TSCA reform.

Meanwhile, an alliance of environmental and labor groups called the Blue Green Alliance also released a set of TSCA reform principles yesterday. Carl Pope, Executive Chairman of the Sierra Club, a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance, said: "Knowing what is in these chemicals, and knowing that this law has the teeth to enforce clear health and safety standards, is imperative to ensuring the health of our people and our environment." He added: "Ensuring a cleaner, safer environment as part of a sustainable economy will result in good jobs and safe communities."

Look for more analysis on this spot.

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