The House of Representatives’ passage of the bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislation marks the most significant achievement toward chemical regulatory reform since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1990, according to Matthew E. Croson, president, Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC). The House recently approved H.R. 2576, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, by a vote of 398 in favor and one dissenting.

“ASC, the American Chemistry Council and a few other associations started actively advocating in 2008 for the need for TSCA reform,” Croson said. “Over time, understanding has grown that the current system is not working and, with that increased understanding, support across the chemicals value chain—businesses both large and small—has joined in bringing the message to Washington. Those extended efforts were fruitful this week with an overwhelming legislative victory that was pretty close to unanimous.”

He noted that what began seven years ago as a small, loosely knit group of associations interested in finding a way to fix the TSCA has developed into the current American Alliance for Innovation (AAI), a coalition of 185 trade associations that has taken a leadership role in promoting a bipartisan approach to making the national chemical regulatory program more effective.

Attention now shifts to the Senate, which has yet to schedule a vote on its version of TSCA reform. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697) was passed in a strong bipartisan vote by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on April 28.

“ASC and it members are continuing to contact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others in the Republican leadership to emphasize the need for scheduling a vote on S.697 before the August recess,” said Mark Collatz, director, Regulatory Affairs. “Delaying the vote on TSCA reform until the fall runs the danger of it getting put on the back burner by more partisan issues that can crop up as Congress moves toward an election year. We have the momentum now, and it would be a shame to lose it.”

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