House Energy and Commerce Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman released a “discussion draft” of a TSCA reform bill called the “Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA).”  This version builds on the Lautenberg-Vitter Chemical Safety Improvement Act S. 1009, with a focus on EPA setting high priority chemicals based on risk (hazard and exposure) for intensive review and letting "low priority" chemicals lay until new information comes in.  His summary is provided here.  Keyword is "balanced."

American Chemistry Council (ACC) likes it.  Rep. Waxman and Enviros don't.  What else is new?  Hopefully, it will generate dialog.

It appears to address some of the concerns raised by the Senate bill, but not to the degree the enviros want.  E.g., explicitly added consideration of vulnerable subpopulations; doesn't trigger preemption until a final rule; but still no required data for new and existing chemicals; added some deadlines for prioritization, but not for starting to knock off chemicals (which still requires cost-benefit balancing). Seems to simplify all the prioritization rigamarole, but the devil's always in the detail.  Heavy on the "best available science," quality of data, weight of evidence and risk (as it should be).  Also responded to earlier testimony from the electronics industry to lay off articles and byproducts and reclamation. Seems to have dropped the concept of a "safety standard" per se.  Still relies on an EPA finding regarding "unreasonable risk"  "under intended conditions of use."  Also requires restrictions to be "proportional" to risk (i.e., if a warning label will reduce unreasonable risky behavior enough, you don't have to ban a chemical's manufacture).  Bergeson & Campbell did a nice detailed review.

Hearing to be held March 12: link to watch it live and/or read testimony here.

I really don't see this passing this year - everyone is getting too dug in.


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