Draft TSCA Reform Bill Released

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House Energy and Commerce Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) released a discussion draft legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Shimkus’ subcommittee has held a number of hearings on TSCA reform within the last year, and has now formulated legislation that he believes can be moved forward. The Chemicals in Commerce Act (CCA) would create a tiered information development system, which would allow EPA to obtain the hazard and exposure information it needs to enforce the law. The bill would allow EPA to place chemicals in commerce into two categories. The first would be high priority chemicals and they “would be subject to rigorous scientific examination by EPA,” according to a committee press release. If a chemical is determined to pose an unreasonable risk of harm, it would be subject to a rule that restricts its use or requirements that provide safeguards to limit exposure. The other category would be low priority chemicals for those chemicals that are not likely to pose an unreasonable risk of harm to human health or the environment. Confidential business information (CBI) would be protected under the draft legislation; however access to CBI would be broadened to include states and health professionals who need the information as long as they agree to protect the information. Shimkus said, “This discussion draft begins the legislative phase of the committee’s work and I am hopeful we can get something across the finish line with strong bipartisan support. It is a win-win solution that will improve safety protections while promoting innovation and economic growth across multiple sectors of our economy.”

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