H.R. 2576 – TSCA Modernization Act of 2015


Approved by Senate

OBJECTIVES:

  • Modernize the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to improve chemical safety while encouraging continued innovation and economic growth
  • Provide the public greater confidence in the safety of American-made chemicals and the products that contain them
  • Facilitate interstate and global commerce

BACKGROUND: The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976 to manage hazardouschemicals in commerce. However, TSCA has proven to be ineffective in providing adequate protections and facilitating U.S. chemical manufacturing and use – this is particularly true today, in the face of industry advancements and increased interstate commerce. Modernization of the law is necessary to improve protections for public health and the environment, to provide the public greater confidence in the safety of U.S. chemicals, and to promote further innovation and economic growth.

WHAT THE TSCA MODERNIZATION ACT WILL DO:

Provide EPA the tools to ensure chemicals in commerce are safer for consumers

Create a new system for EPA to evaluate and manage risks associated with chemicals already on the market

  • Either EPA or a manufacturer (who is willing to pay the cost) may designate a chemical for risk evaluation
  •  The risk evaluation must stand up to rigorous scientific standards set out in the legislation
  • If unreasonable risk is determined, EPA must immediately draft a rule to manage the risk

Set deadlines for EPA to take action

  • Risk evaluations must be completed within 3 years
  • Risk management rules must follow completion of risk evaluations by 90 days

Ensure user fees paid to EPA for specific purposes are used just for those purposes

  • User fees will be deposited in a separate fund in the Treasury, and the fees charged and collected will match the cost of carrying out the specific purposes

Provide limited preemption of state law

  • Once EPA makes a final decision on a chemical, either a new rule or a determination that it poses no unreasonable risk, EPA action would apply in all states
  • Prior state laws that do not conflict with TSCA, and private rights of action under tort or contract law, are preserved

Maintain protection of confidential business information

  • Certain state, local, and tribal government officials and health care professionals will now have access
  • Confidentiality claims must be reclaimed after ten years
  • Exemption from CBI protection for health and safety studies does not include disclosure of confidential chemical formulas