EPA Acts to Inform the Public While Congress Idles, Benefitting the Chemical Industry
EPA deserves credit for overcoming chemical industry opposition, and, at best, resistance from the White House, and improving the chemical reporting program under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Today, the agency released the first set of information under its strengthened program. The reporting provides some additional details regarding some of the highest volume chemicals produced and imported into the U.S. The improvements are a small step forward on the long road to providing the public full information about the hundreds or thousands of chemicals to which they are exposed in their daily lives. EPA and the public have little information about the health or environmental effects of many of those substances, and EPA has been unable to oversee or regulate uses of toxic chemicals in a manner that can ensure the public is safe.
To protect our families and our communities from cancer-causing chemicals, and toxic substances linked to learning disabilities, infertility and birth defects, Congress must act to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. Currently the ball is in the Senate's court to pass Senator Lautenberg's Safe Chemicals Act. The chemical industry has stalled and blocked action on reform legislation for years, despite overwhelming public support for greater protections. Senator Boxer should move the bill through the Environment Committee without delay, and ensure that the full Senate takes a public vote this year on reforms to protect the public from toxic chemicals.