There are plenty of issues to worry about in the Lautenberg-Vitter Chemical Safety Improvement Act for chemical manufacturers and especially for chemical processors who have hardly even thought about TSCA before:


  • Setting up the “active” Inventory with every conceivable processor  being subject to, but likely ignorant of, reporting.
  • Unfettered testing and data demands (which will make the EDSP and REACH look like a cake-walks)
  • High priority designation and safety assessments likely to result in blacklisting chemicals even before any "determinations"
  • Will EPA have the guts to designate anything as a "low priority" or will chemicals go into limbo because there is inadequate data available?
  • "Intended use" including "reasonably anticipated" life cycle exposures - could lead to extreme speculation, especially by the overly precautionary-minded. Will every new chemical wind up with a SNUR?
  • Safety standard of "ensures that no unreasonable risk of harm...." What's that practically mean?  What are these safety standards going to look like?  Is this really REACH DNEL (plus a margin of safety for vulnerable subpopulations?) in disguise?
  • It's unclear what "unreasonable" risk even means in the safety standard definition since a "determination" of meets/doesn't meet the SS can't take cost/benefit into account.   It's only when setting restrictions (up to and including a ban) can C/B come in.  For sure blacklisting will occur once a determination is made, even if the restrictions are relatively minor.  Not to mention fodder for tort litigation.
  • How the state preemption and the bar for waivers will work still offers room for gaming by states.  (To be deleted, if Sen. Boxer has her way.)
  • and more...

Of course, if industry complains too much, the GOP House will block the bill entirely and TSCA reform will again get hung up for future Congresses whose composition is anyone's guess to deal with and encourage several states to adopt California models and/or ban random chemicals.

Overall, I think there's a fair amount of stretch in the CSIA from today's TSCA (which I still think is underutilized by EPA) that, with some clarification, would be a decent step forward.  Reverting back to the extreme of the Lautenberg Safe Chemicals Act would be a waste of time as it won't pass.

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