The Society of Chemical Manufactures and Affiliates (SOCMA) recently commended members of a key Senate environmental panel for addressing shortcomings in the nation’s chemical control law while expressing concern over advancing legislation in the middle of bipartisan negotiations. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted to approve an amendment from Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) to the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847), thereby ending what appeared to be a constructive bipartisan process to draft legislation on a clean slate.

“Senator Lautenberg says he wants a bipartisan bill, but today’s markup says otherwise,” said Bill Allmond, SOCMA’s vice president of Government and Public Relations. “Progress was being made by both sides toward a workable approach, only to snatch defeat from the jaws of a bipartisan victory.” 

Allmond added that the amended legislation is an improvement over the previous version and does address some key provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), such as separating the inventory of chemicals into an active and inactive list. It also has more targeted information requirements, includes processor reporting and puts more emphasis on using existing information. The amended version also reportedly requires prioritization and improves the treatment of U.S. intellectual property and new chemicals, both of which are essential areas of a modernized TSCA.

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