…why not just implement the “precautionary” principle … because that’s not what their corporate “string-pullers” want…
Senators push for safer chemicals
“As a result, EPA has only been able to require testing for roughly 200 of the more than 84,000 chemicals currently registered in the United States, and has been able to ban only five dangerous substances since [the Toxic Substances Control Act] was first enacted in 1976,” the senators said in a statement.
Based on information from Lautenberg and Vitter’s offices, changes from current law proposed in the bill include: All chemicals currently in the market must be evaluated for safety and prioritized as “high” or “low” risk to human health and the environment. EPA would do further safety evaluations for high-priority chemicals.
EPA would be granted authority to take action on unsafe chemicals, including labeling requirements, phasing out use and bans.
New chemicals would have to be screened for safety before entering the market, and EPA would have the authority to ban their use.
EPA would be required to evaluate risks to vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and children.
EPA would be allowed to get health and safety information about chemicals from the manufacturers, and required to use existing information first “to avoid duplicative testing.”
The legislation includes measures to protect trade secrets and intellectual property.
State and local governments would be allowed “input on prioritization, safety assessment and the safety determination processes.” EPA would be time-limited in responding to state concerns, and a waiver process would be created to allow state regulations and laws to remain in effect in some circumstances.
Andy Igrejas, executive director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition of public health, environment, business and labor groups that favor reform, said the bill is a step in the right direction but noted some areas where the bill pulls back on prior efforts.
“On the one hand, the bill gives EPA new tools to protect the public from toxic chemicals. It also gives state governments, who have made important gains in public health protections, a continued role in chemical regulation,” he said. “On the other hand, the bill omits many of the deadlines in the Lautenberg/Gillibrand legislation, its special focus on heavily impacted communities and other important provisions.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/senate-chemicals-safety-bill-lautenberg-vitter-91787.html#ixzz2U9Avdd37
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