Regulation of Household Chemicals Receives Bi-Partisan Support

In a compromise nearly forty years in the making, congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle have come together to propose legislation giving the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) greater authority to regulate thousands of chemicals used in everyday products.  The legislation, named the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, amends the Toxic Substances Control Act to allow the EPA to order companies to conduct safety testing of chemicals used in their products without undergoing the laborious agency rule making process.  This is a drastic change from the current structure of the law, under which the EPA must prove that a chemical is potentially dangerous before demanding that a company provide it with additional information or conduct safety testing.   Essentially, the proposed legislation will allow the agency to prevent untested and potentially unsafe chemicals from entering the market by authorizing the EPA to require safety testing, demand information about untested chemicals, and stop chemicals from reaching the market if they have not been deemed safe. Although some groups argue that proposed legislation gives the EPA too much time to regulate a specific chemical while hindering the states’ ability to do so, the legislation does allow for states to restrict a chemical’s use if the EPA’s review takes more than 3 ½ years

Source:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress-poised-to-pass-sweeping-reform-of-chemical-law/2016/05/18/0da5cd22-1d30-11e6-9c81-4be1c14fb8c8_story.html

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/697/all-info

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