Senate Democrats: Don’t help Republicans gut our already-weak chemical safety law.
The main chemical safety law in the United States – the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – is outdated and deeply flawed, allowing more than 80,000 chemicals that have never been tested for safety to be used in the United States.1
Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) have now introduced a bill to reform TSCA, but it is even worse than the existing law. Incredibly, the bill may have even been written by the American Chemistry Council, the lobbying arm of the chemical industry.2
Despite opposition from countless environmental groups and public health experts, this dangerous bill already has the support of a handful of Democrats.3 We need to stop Senate Democrats from helping Republicans do the bidding of the chemical industry.
Sign the petition: Tell Senate Democrats to reject the sham chemical safety bill.
The most glaring flaw in the Udall-Vitter bill is that it would block states from regulating chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency plans to regulate – before the EPA’s regulations are even final. So stronger chemical safety laws already on the books in states like California and Washington would be blocked until the EPA works its way through its massive backlog of unregulated chemicals.4 California Attorney General Kamala Harris accurately described the provision as an “unnecessary evisceration of state regulatory authority.”5
On top of that, according to March 18 testimony by EPA Assistant Administrator James Jones, under the Udall-Vitter bill it would take more than 100 years to develop regulations for thousands of chemicals that are already in use today.6
Sign the petition: Stop Democrats from supporting the chemical industry’s dream bill.
As details of the Udall-Vitter bill began to emerge in recent weeks, there was already speculation that the chemical industry had undue influence in shaping the legislation. Then, in mid-March, Senator Barbara Boxer revealed that a draft of the bill being circulated was on a file that was actually created by the American Chemistry Council.
Senator Udall’s office maintains that the chemical industry lobbying group was just one of many stakeholders that provided input on the legislation as it was being drafted, but the fact that the bill is exceptionally friendly to the chemical companies it should be cracking down on is undeniable.7
Sign the petition: Stop the sham chemical safety bill.
1. "Toxics," Natural Resources Defense Council.
2. "Questions raised on authorship of chemicals bill," San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2015.
3. "Boxer Statement on Legislative Hearing: 'Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act'," Senator Barbara Boxer, March 18, 2019.
4. "The Toxic Substances Control Act needs the right reform, The Hill, March 18, 2015.
5. "State concerns with Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act," Office of the Attorney General, State of California.
6. "Administration has no position on Udall-Vitter bill, EPA says," The Hill, March 18, 2015.
7. "Tom Udall’s Unlikely Alliance With the Chemical Industry," New York Times, March 6, 2015.