Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act Ready to be Signed into Law
WASHINGTON, DC – Congress has taken the final step to send the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to the president’s desk for signature into law. The bill went to the Senate floor last night by unanimous consent and passed on a voice vote. Senate passage follows the House’s passage of the same bill by a margin of 403-12 on May 24.
“Congress has worked on reforming TSCA for over a decade, and I have personally been working on fixing the statute since 2008. These important reforms will modernize our nation’s outdated chemical safety law and protect Americans from harmful toxic substances,” said Rep. Gene Green. "This soon-to-be-law will enhance protections for the workers in our chemical plants, the fenceline communities next to the plants, and benefit chemical manufacturers who will have certainty in a true, nationwide market."
The legislation received strong bipartisan, bicameral support as well as support from industry, manufacturers, and environmental and public health organizations.
The most notable improvements in the bill are:
- Replacing current TSCA’s burdensome safety standard with a pure, health-based standard.
- Explicitly requiring the protection of vulnerable populations, like children, pregnant women, and workers at chemical facilities.
- Requiring a safety finding before new chemicals are allowed to go to market.
- Giving EPA new authority to order testing and ensure chemicals are safe, with a focus on the most risky chemicals.
"This legislation is a win-win for my district in East Houston and Harris County, Texas, home to one of the largest collection of chemical facilities in the country," said Congressman Gene Green.