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Chairman Inhofe praises bipartisan passage of historical legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act


WASHINGTON, DC - In the first committee markup of the 114th Congress, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R–Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, praised the full committee passage of the following pieces of legislation:


S. 697, The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act:


S. 697 received strong bipartisan support by EPW members when it passed out of committee by a vote of 15 to 5. The legislation would reform and update the United States' chemical regulatory program, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a 40-year-old law that governs the use of chemicals in every day products. During the meeting, committee members voted to adopt an amendment by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that strengthens protections under the proposed law and further clarifies the important role of the states. The amendment presented by Vitter was based on an agreement reached on Monday with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D - R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D - Ore.), and Cory Booker (D – N.J.)


Inhofe said, “I am proud of the strong bipartisan work in this committee to provide much-needed reform to the Toxic Substance Control Act. The current law governing our everyday products is out dated and today’s success was long overdue. I appreciate the hard work of Senators David Vitter and Tom Udall who successfully reached a strong compromise that only seeks to benefit current and future generations of Americans. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, as passed out of committee today, takes a critical step forward in better protecting maternal and child health from dangerous chemicals, and I look forward to this legislation being brought before the Senate for consideration and ultimately passed into law."


S. 544, Secret Science Reform Act of 2015:


The committee passed S. 544 by a vote of 11 to 9.  The legislation would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use the best publicly available science.  The bill would increase transparency and accountability by ensuring public access to information EPA uses to produce rules and regulations impacting citizens’ daily lives.


Inhofe said, “I thank my colleagues for supporting Sen. John Barrasso's common sense legislation to ensure EPA relies on science that is both transparent and reproducible.  This bill moves forward at a time when taxpayers are footing the bill for costly and burdensome EPA regulations. The American people deserve access to the same information being used to develop these policies.  The underlying science must be scientifically sound and unbiased.  I look forward to seeing this bill progress as we work to ensure federal policies affecting everyday Americans are created in an open and transparent manner.”


During the business meeting, the committee also approved 33 General Services Administration (GSA) resolutions by voice vote.