In an article published on April 28, 2015 in the newspaper The Hill, journalist Timothy Cama reports that the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill to reform the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The legislation, called “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act”, was introduced by Senators Tom Udall and David Vitter on March 10, 2015 (FPF reported). The draft bill has been criticized as a giveaway to the chemical industry and even its authorship has been questioned (FPF reported). As a result, Vitter and Udall were forced to negotiate a new compromise. “Senator Udall and I took the concerns presented by many colleagues and stakeholders and set out to make the bill even stronger”, says Vitter. The Udall-Vitter bill increases penalties for chemical violations, mandates that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review new and existing chemicals for safety and requires that safety decisions be made solely on public health grounds. Senator Barbara Boxer, who introduced a second chemical reform to TSCA (FPF reported), applauded the compromises. However, Boxer continues to oppose the bill and proposed amendments to give states even more power and to require the EPA to monitor and act on cancer “clusters” in local areas. The panel, however, did not approve any of her amendments before the vote in favour of the bill, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.

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Timothy Cama (April 28, 2015). “Senate panel approves toxic chemical safety bill.The Hill