The Vitter-Udall Senate bill S.697 gained 13 more Democrats and 13 more Republicans as co-sponsors, implying the bill might be filibuster-proof from Senator Boxer if it goes to the floor.  (There were 35 co-sponsors listed as of May 11, 2015.)  Full Senate consideration is hoped for in June.  This Senate bill is likely to take over the narrower Shimkus House bill that is in the works.

There are tons of details to work out on what the final law will look like and what in the world EPA will do with it.  Lots of new rulemaking, petitions and lawsuits.

The easiest things for EPA to do initially are:

  • "Reset" the TSCA Inventory - to hone in on what is actually in commerce vs the laundry list of grandfathered chemicals.  They've got CDR to cover higher volume chemicals, but will need to let processors report on old inventories they are still using and for smaller volume specialty chemical manufacturers and importers.  Those that are "inactive" will have to go through some kind of notification to EPA first to get on the "active" list.  Re-substantiation of confidentiality claims will be necessary, but not a full PMN (so far).
  • Tackle the current Work Plan chemicals as "high priority" with reporting rules and testing orders to get data they need for risk assessment.  Opening the reporting to processors will take some time and finesse to figure out how to avoid double-counting and educating processors that they need to pay attention to TSCA reporting rules under this new regime.  Expect early experiments.  Actually issuing restrictions under an easier section 6 process will still take a lot of time.
  • Require re-substantiation of confidentiality claims.
  • Issue SNURs on just about all new chemicals until they've figured out how to set "safety standards."
  • Collect more money:  Start collecting fees from reporters.  Bump up fees for PMNs.  Increase fine levels (up to $50,000/violation).

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