ACC to Congress: It's time to Update TSCA, Pass the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA)

Nov 13, 2013, 12:15 ET from American Chemistry Council

Historic Compromise Legislation Will Give Consumers More Confidence in Safety of Chemicals While Promoting Innovation, Economic Growth, American Jobs

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley today testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy to encourage Congress to take up legislation to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the law overseeing our nation's chemical regulatory system.

Wednesday's hearing examined Senate Bill S.1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), historic compromise legislation that will help ensure chemicals can be used safely in the U.S. while maintaining the country's competitive advantage. The bill has garnered support from a historic bipartisan coalition of 25 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, environmental advocates, national and state organized labor, former senior EPA officials from both parties, small family-owned manufacturers across the U.S. (whose stories you can see here) and nearly 100 industry associations representing businesses of all sizes.

"The balanced, bipartisan CSIA has kick-started a sincere and serious effort to reform chemical regulation," said Mr. Dooley. "The CSIA has attracted support from a broad swath of constituents and stakeholders from all corners, because the delicately crafted compromise will enhance public safety while preserving the ability of American manufacturers to develop new, life-changing innovations, compete in the global marketplace and create new opportunities in communities across the country. This much needed balance has eluded us in past reform proposals."

In his testimony Mr. Dooley highlighted some of the ways the CSIA will address numerous long-standing concerns about chemical regulation, including requiring a systematic evaluation of grandfathered chemicals for the first time; prioritizing chemicals for EPA review so chemicals with the greatest need get the first and greatest attention; giving EPA more efficient authority to demand further testing and additional data from chemical manufacturers; and requiring EPA to make more information available to the public, a leading goal of environmental advocates and industry alike.

"We believe a handful of issues with the CSIA as originally introduced around sensitive subpopulations, preemption and deadlines can be constructively addressed, if there is a true commitment to reform on both sides," continued Mr. Dooley. "We support efforts to find common ground and believe it is achievable, but any effort to continually move the goal posts will undermine the trust that has been established thus far and could prevent progress for years to come.  That would be a costly missed opportunity."

"We are hopeful that with continued leadership from this committee and from bipartisan leaders in the Senate, we can seize this truly unique chance to pass legislation that is important to the lives of American families and the success of American manufacturers," concluded Mr. Dooley.

Mr. Dooley's full testimony can be found here:

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $770 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for twelve percent of all U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

SOURCE American Chemistry Council