Subcommittee Examines Toxic Substances Control Act

June 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today held a hearing examining the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) to gain a better understanding of this complex statute and its impacts on the economy and public heath and safety.  

Chairman Shimkus said, “Legislation recently introduced in the other body has heightened interest in congressional action on TSCA.  I, for one, think we should closely examine TSCA and be open to legislation to update and reform it. Any attempt to do so from our end should start with fundamental oversight of how TSCA is designed and operated. With many new Members on this committee and subcommittee, today’s hearing is the first installment towards that goal.”

Kathleen Roberts, Vice President of B&C Consortia Management, provided an overview of the regulatory program under TSCA. “In my view, the TSCA regulatory process is logical and almost elegant in its simplicity,” said Roberts. Read more in her testimony about how TSCA regulation works here.

Charles Auer, chemical assessment expert and former Director of EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, reviewed TSCA authorities and rulemakings and gave his perspective on areas that have worked well under TSCA and areas that could be improved. He noted particular success with TSCA’s new chemicals program, explaining, “In my view, experience over the past 30 plus years has shown that TSCA struck a good balance in its approach to new chemicals and that the program has been effective and efficient in its oversight of new chemicals. It has encouraged the introduction of safer and greener new chemicals while also working to move industry away from potentially problematic chemicals through both regulatory and voluntary efforts. The new chemicals program has been a driver for innovation in the U.S.”

Beth Bosley, President of Boron Specialties, a small business specialty chemical manufacturer, cited TSCA success in achieving a balanced regulatory environment that allows for innovation and economic growth. “TSCA has allowed us to lead the world in chemical innovation, and has done so without jeopardizing our nation’s health or the environment,” said Bosley. “Any amendments to TSCA must preserve the timeframes and flexibility that allow this innovation to continue.” She also urged greater congressional oversight of the law, adding, “Regular oversight by Congress will help assess where TSCA currently demonstrates effectiveness, where it could be implemented better, and where revision is necessary.”

 

 

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