Update: An amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) bill is heading to a vote in the Senate. But the bill still gives too much to the chemical industry, who wrote the bill in the first place. Tell your Senators to vote "No" on this bill to protect public health and safety.
If you listen closely, you will hear the sound of champagne bottles opening up in the offices of lobbyists for the chemical industry. That's because chemical industry executives in town to lobby your lawmakers were just told that, "prospects are good for passage of a bipartisan bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)."1 That's no surprise since the original TSCA reform bill was actually written by the chemical industry. But even the Republican chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works (SEPW) committee said that it was too craven, and sent TSCA back to the drawing board.
Unfortunately, the new version of the bill does about as much to protect public health as a Monsanto product and still preempts states' rights to protect us from toxic chemicals. But the cosmetic changes to TSCA were enough to pick up the support of three Democratic senators who helped it pass the SEPW 3-- the bill will now head to the full Senate for a vote any day. The Senate should not be dancing around the issue of public health and safety. That's why I am asking you to tell your Senators to stop this toxic waltz and vote "No" on the TSCA Bill.
There's no doubt that we need to update TSCA, which has been largely ineffective in protecting public health from chemical exposure. In fact, diseases linked to chemical exposure have actually increased in the last 40 years, including childhood cancer, breast cancer and learning disabilities.4 But the updated TSCA bill just doesn't pass muster. It would prevent states from passing tougher standards to protect their citizens and override existing rules in states like New York and California. Under this revised bill, a state has to ask permission from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set tougher chemical standards. And, as part of their petition, they must prove that tougher rules won't interfere with profits of the chemical industry --how crazy is that?
The worst part about this, "new and improved" bill is that chemical companies can keep adding new chemicals for review to EPA's backlog, even though the EPA is under-resourced and underfunded for such a task. And here's the crazy part -- until the EPA reviews a chemical, it can be still be sold to the public without disclosing its health impacts.5 It's a classic case of Safe Until Proven Dangerous.
There is no time to lose on this one. The new TSCA bill is picking up momentum and commitments of support in the Senate right now. But if we act fast, we can still convince enough senators that profits for the chemical industry should never come before the public interest of health and safety. Please click here now and tell your senators to put communities before toxic chemicals.
Together we can put the chemical industry's presumptive champagne bottles on ice once and for all.
Thank you for taking (environmental) action,
Anthony for Environmental Action
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