By Anthony Adragna and Pat Rizzuto
Jan. 12 — The House and Senate want to move legislation overhauling the nation's primary chemical law quickly, perhaps as soon as this month, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told reporters Jan. 12.
Inhofe said he plans to meet with Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, at a Jan. 13 Republican retreat in Baltimore. Issues they will discuss include reconciling a broad Senate bill overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act (S. 697) with a narrower House version (H.R. 2576), he said.
“It's one of the early things we're going to be doing, so [it'll move] this month, next month,” Inhofe said, describing when both chambers might consider final legislation.
“We have a little more detail in terms of making sure the EPA does what they're supposed to be doing in pre-classifying chemicals and some other things they [House members] don't have in their bill. I think it's a matter of saying, ‘We agree with everything you have, but in addition we need to do this,’” Inhofe said.
Upton told Bloomberg BNA: “We're going to sit down over the retreat to talk about it, yes, definitely. It's high on both of our agendas. We feel very encouraged about where we're going to end up.”
Supporters of the Senate or House bill, or both, include the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the American Chemistry Council, the American Cleaning Institute, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, 3M, BASF Corp., the Consumer Electronics Association, Dupont, the Dow Chemical Co., the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation.
“No environmental law since the 1990 overhaul of the Clean Air Act has had the potential to affect as many industries as a modernized TSCA,” Ernie Rosenberg, president of the American Cleaning Institute, told Bloomberg BNA.
The Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act by voice vote Dec. 17 (39 CRR 1494, 12/21/15).
The House passed its TSCA Modernization Act on June 23, 2015 by a 398-1 vote (39 CRR 775, 6/29/15).
There is a growing number of resources to use for quick insights into the legislation.
States described pros and cons of both bills in a chart the Environmental Council of the States released Jan. 7 (40 CRR 29, 1/11/16).
Bloomberg BNA summarized recent changes in the Senate bill and next steps in an article following the Senate vote (39 CRR 1481, 12/21/15).
• The Environmental Defense Fund blogs regularly about TSCA modernization and the Senate bill in particular.
• Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families provided a different environmental perspective on the bills in a December 2015 blog.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
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