In an article published on April 17, 2015 on the portal ScienceBlogs, Celeste Monforton of George Washington University, U.S. reports that the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) outlined significant flaws in the chemical reform bill introduced by Senators David Vitter and Tom Udall (FPF reported). In a letter sent on April 13, 2015 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), the AFL-CIO supports the reform of the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). However, the letter also outlines nine major problems in the proposed Udall-Vitter bill. For instance, according to the AFL–CIO, the bill would restrict states from taking action to limit exposures to toxic substances. Furthermore, a “fatal defect” in the bill is the missing definition for the legislation’s term “unreasonable risk”. The AFL-CIO asserts that the failure to establish a clear standard for protection will result in endless litigation to define what is meant by the term and thus thwart effective regulation. The AFL-CIO further highlights that the inability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban asbestos is recognized to be one of the most glaring failures of the current TSCA law. Nevertheless, the Udall-Vitter bill fails to fix that problem. U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Edward Markey, who introduced a second chemical reform legislation, call for ban on asbestos (FPF reported).
The AFL-CIO joins a growing list of organizations concerned about the Udall-Vitter bill. On March 16, 2015 David McCumber of Hearst Newspapers reported on the involvement of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) in drafting the bill (FPF reported).
Celeste Monforton (April 17, 2015). “Labor group outlines significant flaws in chemical reform bill, joins growing list of opponents.” ScienceBlogs
EPW (April 14, 2015). “AFL-CIO’s letter to EPW.” (pdf)