States far ahead of feds in regulating toxic chemicals (9/1)
"The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) today passed a resolution calling for sweeping reform of federal chemical policy.
"The states are way ahead of the federal government in regulating toxic chemicals. Congress would do well to listen to the practical advice of state environmental officials.
"Many state environmental directors now have extensive experience in identifying and managing the worst chemicals. So it makes sense to move beyond the usual debate about whether the states or the federal government should regulate. Instead- as ECOS called for today- there should be a new state/federal partnership.
"With today's resolution, ECOS has basically adopted the same positions on the details of reform as the broad spectrum of public health and environmental experts. There is an emerging consensus about what real reform means.
"In recent months, the chemical industry appears to be going backwards on reform, resorting to the classic strategy of economic fear-mongering and misinformation after a year of pro-reform rhetoric. We're hopeful that today's resolution will help convince the chemical industry to take a more constructive approach."
On July 29, representatives of the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition testified in support of H.R. 5820, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010, before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by the bill's lead sponsor Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL).
In April, companion legislation, S. 3209, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 was introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
These bills represent the most serious and comprehensive reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 ever considered by Congress. TSCA has been widely acknowledged as failing to protect public health and the environment from the tens of thousands of chemicals in everyday products and in commerce.