CSPA Responds to Senator Lautenberg’s Introduction of “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011”

Senator Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) recently released his TSCA bill, Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. The Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) issued a statement in response. For more information visit www.cspa.org.

Washington, DC, April 20, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 seeks to amend the nation’s chemical regulatory law, Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), which directs the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) to review and assess chemicals in commerce.

“We agree with Senator Lautenberg that Congress should take action to modernize TSCA, and we appreciate the Senator’s continued leadership and efforts to keep this issue a top priority,” said Chris Cathcart, Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) President and CEO.

Over the past three years CSPA has been an active participant in the public dialogue in the United States on how to modernize TSCA. CSPA members, who produce popular brand name formulated products, are committed to manufacturing and marketing safe, innovative and sustainable products that provide essential benefits to consumers while protecting human health and the environment.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 is a revision of Senator Lautenberg’s S. 3209 introduced last Congress.

“The new bill introduced today moves in the right direction as it seeks to adopt important concepts of prioritization and tiered minimum data set requirements,” Cathcart said. “These two elements, along with the preservation of a risk based system, are essential components of any workable regulatory framework under TSCA. However, we remain concerned about other sections of the bill, including its approach on Reporting and Declarations, the protection of confidential business information (CBI) and the safety standard. A bi-partisan dialogue can resolve these issues.”

Various stakeholders, including CSPA, introduced their principles for TSCA modernization in 2009. Common ground among those principles put forth by the diverse groups includes:

The U.S. needs a modern chemical regulatory law that reflects more than three decades of scientific and technological advances since TSCA was enacted.

The system needs to be risk-based, and must allow the EPA to review and assess the safety of chemicals in commerce through a process of prioritization, with the chemicals of highest concern at the top of the list for agency immediate review.

The system must include a means by which EPA can get use and exposure data from companies like those CSPA represents to better assess safety.

CSPA has already begun to work through the details of how the industry, as the downstream users of raw chemicals, can provide use and exposure information about chemicals in commerce to the EPA. As manufacturers and formulators of consumer products, CSPA and its members have made significant progress on how share this information with EPA to help prioritize and assess chemical safety while not imposing duplicative, costly and unnecessary burdens on companies.

CSPA is committed to its ongoing work with allied industry groups to help ensure details of these and other issues are addressed in order to reach consensus on a modern chemical regulatory framework that considers the entire value chain.

The final law, which can only be achieved with bi-partisan support, will touch thousands of companies who employ millions of workers in the U.S. and around the globe. If done right, a modern TSCA could drive innovation and sustainable products. The economic landscape has radically changed from a few years ago, and new regulations will impact the necessary resources required from companies and the government. It’s important that all stakeholders arrive at a workable solution to TSCA modernization.

Many Members of Congress support the modernization of TSCA to address consumer concerns and chemical safety, and also to provide the necessary business certainty and essential protections for proprietary information for the chemical industry. We are looking forward to working with Senator Lautenberg and others in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who are leading this effort to reach consensus on a workable law.

Consumer Specialty Products Association
Larry Jones