In an article published on March 10, 2015 in the newspaper Huffington Post, journalist Kate Sheppard reports on a new chemical safety act, which was introduced by U.S. Senators David Vitter and Tom Udall. The legislation, called “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act”, is meant to update the current law governing chemicals in the U.S., the 39-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The bill has been named after the late New Jersey senator, who worked for many years on reforming chemical safety laws. The new legislation would require all chemicals now in use to be tested for safety and prohibit any new chemicals from reaching the market until they were proven to be non-toxic. The legislation would protect the future generations while promoting innovation and growth within the U.S. economy, says Senator Vitter. Some members of the environmental community expressed support for the bill, including the U.S.-based non-profit environmental advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). EDF President Fred Krupp considers the bill the best chance to move past the current non-functioning law and to provide strong protections for all Americans. However, others criticized the bill, including Senator Barbara Boxer, who argued that the new legislation is too weak and it would undermine states that have set tougher laws than the federal rules. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the legislation is expected on March 18, 2015.
Kate Sheppard. (March 10, 2015). “Senators introduce bill to overhaul U.S. chemical regulations.” Huffington Post