US Senate Passes TSCA Reform Legislation!

On June 7th, the US Senate Tuesday passed by unanimous consent legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the nation’s 40-year-old primary chemical management law. The House passed the bill last month, and it now moves to President Barack Obama, who has said that he will sign it into law. Passage of this important reform legislation represents the end of an eight-year effort to overhaul US chemical management policy. With just the president's signature separating the bill from law, attention turns to how the reform will change existing TSCA. The new law will:
  • establish a health-based safety standard;
  • require the EPA to assess the risk of existing chemicals under "judicially enforceable deadlines", without consideration of cost. This process will include identification of substances on the market, designation of low and high priorities, risk evaluation of high-priority substances, and restrictions for those that present an unreasonable risk;
  • strike the existing statute's mandate that the EPA implement "least burdensome" regulatory requirements;
  • mandate that the EPA make "an affirmative safety finding" before allowing a new substance on the market, under a 90-day review period (which may be extended to 180 days);
  • increases the EPA's authority to order testing, with a requirement to "reduce and replace animal testing where scientifically reliable alternatives exist";
  • trigger an EPA review of all past confidential business information (CBI) claims, and require re-substantiation of approved claims after ten years;
  • limit state authority to restrict substances that are undergoing EPA review, have been found by the agency not to pose unreasonable risk, or are subject to federal risk management, unless they seek out a waiver. States' authority to require reporting and monitoring are preserved, and chemical restrictions enacted prior to 22 April 2016 are 'grandfathered' in;
  • call for identification and protection of most vulnerable populations;
  • require science-based decisions, founded on weight of evidence (WoE); and
  • collect fees on new and existing chemicals that go directly to the EPA.
Lawmakers have said that they will be closely overseeing the EPA's implementation of the law.  SGIA will be providing more information on this important legislative action    Sign up to receive the most up-to-date regulatory and legislative information about specialty imaging.
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