The House is slated to vote on the Shimkus version of TSCA reform the week of June 22, after unanimous vote in the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  The TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 HR 2576 is not as big a change at the Senate bill 697 (43 pages vs 179 pages).  A lot more hours have been put into refining the Senate bill, so it's likely to hold sway. But no bets on what Congress may or may not do.

Here's what the House Energy & Commerce Committee says its bill will do:

Create a new system for EPA to evaluate and manage risks associated with chemicals already on the market

  • Either EPA or a manufacturer (who is willing to pay the cost) may designate a chemical for risk evaluation
  •  The risk evaluation must stand up to rigorous scientific standards set out in the legislation
  • If unreasonable risk is determined, EPA must immediately draft a rule to manage the risk

Set deadlines for EPA to take action [unreasonably fast]

  • Risk evaluations must be completed within 3 years
  • Risk management rules must follow completion of risk evaluations by 90 days

Ensure user fees paid to EPA for specific purposes are used just for those purposes [but only up to an inadequate cumulative total of $18 million]

  • User fees will be deposited in a separate fund in the Treasury, and the fees charged and collected will match the cost of carrying out the specific purposes

Provide limited preemption of state law  [Dems seem to prefer this language over Senate, but activist states are unhappy, regardless]

  • Once EPA makes a final decision on a chemical, either a new rule or a determination that it poses no unreasonable risk, EPA action would apply in all states
  • Prior state laws that do not conflict with TSCA, and private rights of action under tort or contract law, are preserved

Maintain protection of confidential business information

  • Certain state, local, and tribal government officials and health care professionals will now have access
  • Confidentiality claims must be reclaimed after ten years
  • Exemption from CBI protection for health and safety studies does not include disclosure of confidential chemical formulas


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