Friday, July 23, 2010

House Finally Introduces H.R. 5820, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010

Finally. After releasing a "discussion draft" in April to coincide with Frank Lautenberg's Chemical Safety Act introduction in the Senate, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) yesterday formally introduced H.R. 5820, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010.

According to Waxman and Rush, "the legislation would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to ensure that the public and the environment are protected from risks resulting from chemical exposure."

Key provisions of the Toxics Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 include:

* Establishes a framework to ensure that all chemical substances to which the American people are exposed will be reviewed for safety and restricted where necessary to protect public health and the environment.

* Requires the chemical industry to develop and provide to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) essential data, and improves EPA’s authority to compel testing where necessary.

* Ensures that non-confidential information submitted to EPA is shared with the public and that critical confidential information is shared among regulators, with states, and with workers in the chemical industry.

* Establishes an expedited process for EPA to reduce exposure to chemical substances that are known to be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.

* Creates incentives and a review process for safer alternatives to existing chemicals, promoting innovation and investment in green chemistry.

* Creates a workforce education and training program in green chemistry, promoting and ensuring long-term viability of American jobs.

* Encourages the reduction of the use of animals in chemical testing.

* Allows EPA to exempt chemicals already known to be safe from requirements of the Act.

* Promotes research to advance understanding of children’s vulnerability to the harms of chemicals.

* Directs EPA to address community exposures to toxic chemicals in certain “hot spot” locations.

* Requires EPA to engage in international efforts to control dangerous chemicals.

* Ensures that EPA actions are transparent, open to public comment, and subject to judicial review, without unreasonable procedural burdens.

* Gives EPA the resources needed to carry out this Act.

I'll have more after reviewing the 166-page document.  The big question is how much of the input from the various stakeholders meetings since the discussion draft have made it into the final bill.  And now that it has finally been introduced on the virtual eve of the August recesses and upcoming mid-term elections, what will become of it.

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