Senator Boxer consulted a wide range of stakeholders, including public health and environmental organizations, business groups, states, and groups that advocate on behalf of those who have suffered injuries from toxic chemicals, to ensure that the serious flaws in the Vitter draft are addressed in the TSCA reform effort.
Senator Boxer plans to continue to work with colleagues to develop a consensus approach to meaningful TSCA reform.
Senator Boxer said: "TSCA reform must provide greater public health protections than we have today. Real TSCA reform will protect our most vulnerable populations like pregnant women, infants and children. National standards must incorporate these basic principles while allowing states to strengthen safeguards for their citizens. State laws often lead to benefits nationwide as consumers and industry react to standards and information generated at the state level.
"The test for whether a TSCA reform bill is ready to move forward is when you can say the bill is stronger than current law when it comes to protecting our families from dangerous chemicals."
"The Vitter TSCA proposal still falls short of the changes needed to improve on current law.
"The proposed safety standard does not clearly reject the ineffective standard contained in the original TSCA law that has resulted in very limited protection. The timelines in the Vitter proposal remain extremely long - it is expected to take at least seven years before even a tiny fraction of the chemicals of concern are reviewed. This could leave nearly a thousand chemicals of greatest concern unaddressed. Families will be hard-pressed to understand why under the Vitter proposal they should have to wait so long for stronger protections for children's health. The Vitter proposal also contains loopholes that undermine the rights of victims of toxic chemical injury, and under the Vitter proposal states face sweeping preemption even when there is no meaningful action by the federal government. No additional funds are made available to implement the new program, unlike the industry fees that are made available under similar statutes, guaranteeing limited progress.
"I remain hopeful that Senator Vitter and my other Senate colleagues will work with me to address these concerns so that we can develop a consensus on TSCA reform. I am strongly committed to this effort."
Link to a critique of the Vitter TSCA proposal here.
Link to highlights of the Boxer TSCA counterproposal here.