Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TODAY - Senate Hearing on Exposures to Toxic Chemicals

There will be a Senate hearing today, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 to hear witnesses on the topic "Oversight on EPA Authorities to Control Exposures to Toxic Chemicals." The hearing is being held by the Full Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health. The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who has been working for several years to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) originally passed in 1976.

Lautenberg and other Democratic members of the committee are planning a markup and vote on his Safe Chemicals Act bill on Wednesday. Republican members immediately balked at the idea, noting that they were not given any warning of the vote. At the previous hearing by this subcommittee many months ago, Democrats had practically begged Republicans and industry to "give us a bill," i.e., rather than merely say the current bill was inadequate, actually propose a bill that Republicans and industry could live with given that all parties claim to want a workable modernization of TSCA. Republicans and industry declined to do so.

While the Safe Chemicals Act - TSCA reform - has been largely ignored during this election year, it has received renewed interest lately as the result of a Chicago Tribune investigative series that accused the chemical industry of misleading the public and regulators about both the effectiveness and safety of brominated flame retardants.

Today's hearing begins at 10:00 am ET in room 406 of the Dirksen Senate building. The hearing will be webcast. The full agenda and list of witnesses is below:

Opening Remarks

Panel 1

The Honorable Jim Jones
Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Panel 2

Hannah Pingree
Mother, Former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives

Dr. Heather M. Stapelton
Assistant Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Environment Sciences & Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University

Marshall Moore
Director, Technology, Advocacy and Marketing
Great Lakes Solutions, A Chemtura Business

William K. Rawson
Partner, Chair, Environment, Land & Resources Department
Latham & Watkins LLP

Tony Stefani
President, Founder
San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation


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