Monday, September 6, 2010

States push for TSCA chemical control law reform

ECOS, the Environmental Council of the States, held its annual meeting last week and among other activities passed a resolution calling for reform of the 34-year old Toxic Substances Control Act.  ECOS is an organization of state environmental agency leaders.

According to the resolution, which can be downloaded here, ECOS supports congressional action that would place the onus on the chemical industry to prove their chemicals are safe, to give EPA sufficient authority to ensure that chemicals are safe, including the ability to do so in a timely fashion, to provide EPA with a mechanism by which they can share confidential business information they receive with the states, to require safer alternatives (substitutes), and authorize EPA to take expedited action when a chemical presents "imminent or substantial endangerment or is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (or very persistent and very bioaccumulative whether or not it is toxic), etc.

The states have been very active in pushing for federal legislation because otherwise they would have to undertake state-level legislation, which not only is a burden to the states but a burden to industry who could be faced with complying with 50+ different state regulations.

Given the current lack of federal action likely before the mid-term elections, the states will have to wait until next year for TSCA reform on a national level.

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