WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today continued its examination of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), focusing on sections of the law that require testing and reporting.
This was the subcommittee’s fifth hearing this Congress on TSCA, setting the stage for efforts to reform the statute. Witnesses provided varying perspectives on the current law’s information requirements and offered solutions to improve them. “The goal is credible decisions using high quality data. Information management will be one of the toughest issue areas to get right, but it’s also one of the most important,” said Chairman Shimkus.
In reforming these sections of the law, witnesses urged Congress to follow a risk-based approach grounded in science that allows EPA to prioritize chemicals and focus on those substances in commerce that pose the most hazard.
“The TSCA Inventory is out of date and should be reset. Congress should guide EPA in how to reset the Inventory with an objective of accurately reflecting which chemicals are actively in commerce and which are not. … To improve TSCA and its implementation, Congress should explicitly require EPA to prioritize all chemicals in commerce for further work within a reasonable amount of time,” stated Charles Drevna, President of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.
Testifying on behalf of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, Dr. Beth Bosley expressed, “TSCA reform should be fundamentally risk-based; it should require EPA to look at a chemical’s inherent properties, or its hazards, along with its potential exposures when making regulatory decisions. That way, we can continue to innovate, create jobs and make our standard of living possible, while enhancing public confidence and protection of human health and the environment. This will also help ensure we avoid delays in getting low-risk chemicals to market and keep up with our customers’ demands including those who formulate chemicals.”
Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) concluded, “It’s often said that the job of the manager is to know when to stop taking data and start making decisions. That’s the challenge for EPA under a reformed TSCA. It’s also the challenge we on the committee face as we transition from our examination of current law to developing our own ideas for how to modernize, after nearly four decades, this body of regulation. I look forward to working with all of our committee colleagues as we set out on that path.”