Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Modernization in U.S. House

Update and reauthorization of TSCA continues to gain momentum in Congress. In the U.S. Senate, the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697, known as the "Vitter-Udall bill") has 40 diverse co-sponsors at this writing. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576 (PDF)) on June 3. (Both bills continue to evolve, so check for updates before reviewing something that might be out-of-date.) Both bills include troubling language pre-empting state action under certain conditions, and there is no consensus at the moment from state environmental agencies or attorneys general, but some recent improvements to bill language look promising. While generally supportive of TSCA reform, both the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalitionand the Environmental Defense Fund voiced concerns about remaining issues. Prior to the June 3 hearing, a New York Times editorial also weighed-in on both the House and Senate efforts and the urgent need for TSCA reform.