Sen. Carper, local and national stakeholders highlight passage of historic chemical safety reform legislation

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined representatives from the chemical, environmental and business sectors at CRODA’s Atlas Point manufacturing site to applaud the passage of legislation to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). Earlier this month, the bill passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming support, and is expected to receive the President’s signature this week.

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 Sen. 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 “Over the past forty years, our country’s outdated and inadequate chemical safety laws have put the public at risk for toxic exposure, and left businesses in Delaware and across the country with a broken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.”

“It is a great privilege to host this event at one of our manufacturing sites,” said Robert Stewart, director of operations in North America for CRODA and chairman of the Delaware Chemical Industry Council. “The health, safety and quality of the ingredients we make across CRODA has always been a top priority. We contribute to the development of such standards around the world and often go above and beyond the regulations required of our manufacturing sites. We thank Senator Carper for his ongoing support of this site and our industry”

“Reforming TSCA has been a top priority for the Chemical Industry Council of Delaware for several years,” said Josh Young, the Executive Director of the CICD.  “The chemical industry is critical to the state of Delaware, providing thousands of jobs for Delaware residents.  Senator Carper played a key role in securing passage of the first update of TSCA since its enactment 40 years ago.  Because of his hard work Delaware and the rest of the country will now be able to tout a 21st Century chemical management system.”

“For decades American families were left unprotected from toxic chemicals because of our badly broken chemical safety law,” said Jack Pratt, Chemicals Campaign Director at Environmental Defense Fund. “This week the President will sign a bill to change that, thanks in no small part to the work of Senator Tom Carper. Sen. Carper’s early leadership in finding common ground and working to strengthen this legislation were critical to getting a strong bill to the president’s desk.”

“Moms across the U.S. are grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Sen. Carper and his colleagues in Congress,” said Gretchen Dahlkemper, national field director for Mom’s Clean Air Force. “Strong leadership in Congress ends nearly 40 years of a system that failed to protect our kids. Parents across the U.S. applaud the work of Sen. Carper and his colleagues to make the health & safety of our families a priority during this Congress.”

Senators Carper and Chris Coons (also D-Del.) 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. Together, the Delaware congressional delegation authored an op-ed about the bill that was featured in the Delaware News Journal.  

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.