Delaware Delegation applauds passage of historic chemical safety reform legislation

Decades-overdue chemical safety reforms pass both the House and Senate, will be signed into law by President Obama

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.), and Congressman John Carney (D-Del.) applauded Senate passage of legislation to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). In May, the bill passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming support, and is expected to receive the President’s signature in the coming weeks.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, based on a bill authored by the late -Senator Lautenberg (D-N.J.) a longtime champion of TSCA reform, overhauls the 40-year-old law that regulates thousands of chemicals used in products Americans rely on every day. This new law requires chemicals to meet safety standards before they can enter the market while providing businesses with a predictable and manageable review process to ensure chemicals are deemed safe for commercial use.

“I am incredibly proud that Congress has finally sent President Obama a bipartisan compromise that will reform our broken chemical safety laws,” said Senator Tom Carper. “Over the past forty years, our country’s outdated and inadequate chemical safety laws have put the public at risk for toxic exposure, and left businesses in Delaware and across the country with a broken regulatory process that undermines innovation. Reaching this historic achievement to overhaul our country’s toxics law was possible only because both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress have worked together to compromise on policy without ever compromising our principles. I thank Senators Udall and Vitter and Chairman Inhofe for working tirelessly for years to make this bipartisan solution possible.”

“The widespread support for this bill is a testament to the urgent need to update our chemical safety laws to adequately protect our communities, protect our environment, and support industries who have been calling for clearer safety standards for decades,” said Senator Chris Coons. “As home to some of America’s leading chemical manufacturers, Delaware knows firsthand how detrimental our outdated chemical safety laws are on communities and businesses. We now have a bill that will finally ensure Delaware and the country has a regulatory framework that works for the 21st century by protecting human health and the environment, while also providing certainty and predictability for consumers and industry. This bill proves that Congress can still come together to work for the American people.”

“Passing TSCA is a big win for Delaware consumers and Delaware businesses,” said Congressman Carney. “This legislation will provide clarity to the many innovative companies we’re home to and improve safety standards for products in households around the country. I’m proud of the bipartisan effort behind this bill — it shows what we can accomplish when we’re willing to put partisanship aside and come together.”

Senators Carper and Coons worked closely with the bill’s authors in the Senate, Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) for more than a year, leading a group of Democratic colleagues in discussions to secure enhanced protections for public health and the environment, including provisions that would protect children, pregnant women, and workers from toxic risks, ensure EPA has access to information to assess safety risks, and allow states to enforce federal toxic safety. They joined the Senate legislation as cosponsors of the compromise proposal, introduced in March 2015. On the House side, Congressman Carney worked with his colleagues to help facilitate passage and ensure the bill reflected the priorities of Delaware’s consumers and businesses. Since its introduction, the Delegation has worked hard to further improve the bill and are proud of the strong bipartisan process that has moved this legislation forward with broad support from both sides of the aisle. 

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is supported by organizations including Environmental Defense Fund, American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Association for Justice, and March of Dimes.