• Toxic Substances Control Act

    AFPM believes the United States chemicals regulatory framework provides a solid foundation for protecting the health of consumers and the environment, while simultaneously allowing for the development of products to enhance health, safety and the environment. That framework is poised for an update after almost 40 years of experience.

    The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976 and gives the US EPA broad authority to regulate chemicals in commerce, from manufacturing to use and disposal. What makes TSCA unique is that it is as much a commercial law as it is an environmental law. To update TSCA successfully Congress must strike the right balance between protection of health and the environment and protecting the flow of interstate commerce.

    In recent years, certain interest groups have called for a dramatic overhaul of TSCA. Some legislative proposals introduced in previous Congressional sessions would have threatened to further damage America’s already fragile manufacturing base. It is important that this particular statute contain strong federal preemption to avoid a patchwork of state regulations that would disruption the manufacturing supply chain, which usually crosses state boundaries and often spans the entire country.

    AFPM acknowledges that improvements can be made to TSCA and supports responsible modernization of our nation’s chemical safety laws, but warns that dramatic changes to TSCA would jeopardize U.S. innovation and competitiveness and send American jobs overseas.

    There are two TSCA reform bills moving forward in the 114th Congress, one in the House and one in the Senate, which could serve as the platform for an updated TSCA. The “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” (S. 697) was introduced in the Senate and has been voted out of the Committee on Environment and Public Works on a 15 to 5 vote. It is now being considered for a full Senate vote. The “TSCA Modernization Act of 2015” (H.R. 2576) cleared the House by a 398 to 1 vote. Both bills have received strong bipartisan support, which is rare in the modern Congress. AFPM fully supports the bipartisanship that had led to these statutory breakthroughs and will continue its work with Congress to ensure that TSCA modernization strikes the right balance between health and the environment, and a strong manufacturing economy.