Capitol Building

After months of heated bicameral negotiations, lawmakers announced today they have effectively reached an agreement that would broadly overhaul the nation's primary chemicals law.

Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and other senators said Congress intends to pass the overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act before departing for a week-long break at the end of the month.

Inhofe told reporters at a news conference today the bill will be “passed, signed and on the president's desk” before the Memorial Day break.

“This really is a significant accomplishment,” Vitter, one of the bill's original sponsors, said.

If passed, the bill would mark the first new major environmental statute since 1990. The nation's chemicals law has not been updated since 1976.

Bloomberg BNA obtained a copy of the draft bill, called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which includes many of the provisions from the previous Senate bill.

The Senate passed its broad overhaul of TSCA (S. 697) and the House cleared a narrower rewrite (H.R. 2576) last year. Members have been trying to bridge the gap since then.