Thursday, July 29, 2010

Toxic Chemicals Safety Act Hearing TODAY in House (PLUS, A List of Key Changes from Discussion Draft)

A reminder that today, July 29th beginning at 10 am ET there is a hearing of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection on H.R. 5820, the “Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010.” 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."

The invited witnesses at today's hearing include:
  • Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Richard Denison, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Calvin M. Dooley, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Chemistry Council
  • Howard Williams, Vice President, Construction Specialties, Inc.
  • Mark Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., President, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
  • Beth Bosley, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, Inc.
  • Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
Most of these witnesses have testified before in the various House and Senate hearings on TSCA reform over the last 18 months.

A briefing memo, PDFs of the proposed bill, and "letters sent to witnesses to explain technical corrections" are all available on the Subcommittee hearing page. The "technical corrections" were to remove four words inadvertently included in the bill that should have been deleted. 

Most helpful is a brief (2-page) document that highlight "changes made to the discussion draft" first provided in April.  The changes include:

- Clarification of what they mean by "mixtures"
- Incorporation of suggestions related to the proposed "safety standard" to make it more workable
- Significant changes to the scope of the premanufacture notice requirement for new mixtures and new uses
- Provision of more detail about the "minimum data set" and the inclusion of a staggered reporting schedule based on production volume
- Creation of an exemption from core requirements for substances and mixtures that have been determined by the EPA to be safe based on intrinsic properties
- Improved process and requirements for approval of safer alternatives

More details after the hearing.

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