Wednesday, February 3, 2010
MORE BREAKING NEWS: Tomorrow's Senate Hearing May Show Shift in TSCA Chemical Reform Strategy
As noted in my second post of the day yesterday, the Senate will hold a hearing tomorrow, February 4th, on "Current Science on Public Exposures to Toxic Chemicals." The hearing will be chaired by Senator Frank Lautenberg, who chairs the subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health. All eyes have been on Lautenberg to reintroduce an updated version of the Kid Safe Chemical Act.
But maybe Lautenberg won't be the main focus. It seems that the House of Representatives may be taking the lead in drafting the new version. In the past, the House (either Henry Waxman or Hilda Solis) simply introduced the same bill that Lautenberg introduced in the Senate. And in another twist, it may be Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs the entire EPW committee, that will be the main sponsor of the Senate version of the bill rather than Lautenberg. This seems like a good possibility given that Boxer is facing a stronger than usual reelection campaign this year from former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. It's likely that being out in front of TSCA reform will be appealing to the very environmentally-conscious Californians who want to keep her in office.
So anticipation is now starting to get palatable as a TSCA reform bill approaches. Expect to see another hearing in the next few weeks in the House of Representatives, probably a combined Subcommittee/full Committee chaired by both Bobby Rush and Henry Waxman, followed shortly thereafter by reintroduction of a bill that will take portions of the Kid Safe Chemical Act but also a hefty dosing of a very different strategy. If the strategy does change, this gives even more credence to the probability that it will be Senator Boxer front and center.
Meanwhile, I'll keep posting on the hearings as they happen tomorrow.