States Fight Changes in Toxic Chemicals Law

Backers of the bipartisan plan say it would make the public safer by giving the federal government broader authority to test and regulate chemicals. But in return for backing that greater federal authority, the chemical industry has insisted on limits to the power of states to add additional regulations of their own.
August 1, 2013
 

A proposed overhaul of how the country regulates toxic chemicals came under sharp attack today from officials of California and several other states.

 
Backers of the bipartisan plan say it would make the public safer by giving the federal government broader authority to test and regulate chemicals. But in return for backing that greater federal authority, the chemical industry has insisted on limits to the power of states to add additional regulations of their own.
 
In a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Michael Troncoso, senior counsel for the California attorney general's office, warned the panel that the measure would have “potentially crippling effects” on California’s ability to enforce some of its landmark consumer protection laws and “strip away in a significant way the state’s ability to regulate toxics.”
 
The proposal, called the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, was hailed only a few months ago as a breakthrough -- an opportunity to fix a federal chemical regulatory regime that has been broken for decades. Under current law the EPA screens only a small fraction of the tens of thousands of chemicals that exist in the marketplace. States like California have filled the void by imposing their own, tougher regulations.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Public Safety & Justice