New Bipartisan TSCA legislation introduced in senate
On March 10, 2015, Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, a bipartisan bill that would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The bill has 15 co-sponsors -- seven Democrats and eight Republicans. The bill builds on the proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act offered by Senator Vitter and the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in 2013. According to the overview provided on Senator Udall's webpage, the 2015 bill clarifies that cost cannot be a consideration factor in determining chemical safety, provides a definition for 'vulnerable populations,' and implements specific deadlines for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in evaluating existing chemicals. The bill attempts to address the most contentious issue surrounding TSCA reform -- state preemption. Under the proposal, state chemical regulations in place prior to January 2015 would be grandfathered. In addition, states would be able to act on chemical restrictions until and unless EPA takes up the same chemical for the same use applications, and can request a waiver to set different regulations than EPA during the safety assessment and final rule. The goal is to have a uniform federal standard for the entire nation, which increases regulatory certainty while still protecting citizens. See the detailed analysis of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act prepared by BRAG affiliate Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.