Legislative history of chemicals policy reform

President Obama signing Lautenberg Act

Credit: Fred Watkins

6/22/16
President Obama signs the Lautenberg Act into law.

6/7/16
The U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan House-Senate agreement of the Lautenberg Act by a voice vote. See EDF’s press release for more information.

5/24/16
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan House-Senate agreement of the Lautenberg Act by a margin of 403-12. See EDF’s press release for more information.

12/17/15
The U.S. Senate brought the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to the floor by unanimous consent and passed it without objection. See EDF Action’s press release and Richard Denison’s blog post.

6/23/15
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the TSCA Modernization Act (HR 2576). See EDF’s chart comparing the Senate and House bills.

5/14/15
The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and Economy passed a revised version of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015

4/28/15
The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held a markup of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (FRL21). The EPW committee passed the bipartisan bill with a 15-5 vote. The amended bill gained the support of Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Tom Carper (D-DE) along with all of the Republicans on the committee. See EDF’s factsheet on the amended bill.  

4/14/15
The U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing on a “bipartisan discussion draft” of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 released on April 7.

3/18/15
The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (FRL21).  EDF’s Dr. Richard Denison testified in support of this bipartisan bill.

3/10/15
Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to Protect the Health of American Families (FRL21).  An additional seven Democrats and eight Republicans are also original cosponsors of the bill. EDF supports this bipartisan effort as a solid compromise that fixes the biggest flaws with TSCA.  See EDF’s factsheet (updated version above) and public statement on the bill.

4/29/14
The House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing on a revised discussion draft of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA). This updated draft incorporated a number of changes based on input received at a March 12 hearing held on the first draft. While progress has been made, EDF noted that the proposal still has significant shortcomings and called on all parties to continue negotiations toward an improved bill.

2/27/14
Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a discussion draft of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA). While EDF identified major concerns with this draft, it represented the first opening to advance bipartisan TSCA reform legislation in the House, adding momentum to ongoing parallel efforts in the Senate. EDF’s public statement on the draft can be found here.

11/13/13
The Environment and the Economy Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held an unusual hearing that focused on a Senate bill: the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013. The fourth in a series of House hearings on the need for TSCA reform, this one featured witnesses from EPA, industry, the environmental community and a law professor who examined strengths and weaknesses of the legislation. EDF’s Dr. Richard Denison testified on both the political opening the bill offers and the need for strengthening changes if it is to achieve the reforms it promises. An accompanying op-ed he wrote posted on TheHill.com argued for the need to seize this opportunity to fix the badly outdated and ineffective TSCA.

5/22/2013
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, bipartisan TSCA reform legislation. The bill represents a political breakthrough that opens for the first time a viable bipartisan path forward for much-needed reform of TSCA. While the bill would give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) critical tools it needs to address risks that chemicals pose to health, for EPA to be able to effectively and efficiently utilize these tools, significant changes to the legislation are needed.

4/10/2013
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ) and Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand (NY) introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013. This bill, which has 27 additional co-sponsors, is the same bill that was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in July 2012. It addresses the major problems with TSCA and has evolved from earlier versions to address concerns of the chemical and consumer product industries.

7/25/2012
The Senate EPW Committee voted to approve the Safe Chemicals Act of 2012. The legislation would provide strong protections for public health and the environment, while reducing the burdens on regulated industry. The bill, introduced by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, garnered 29 additional co-sponsors.

4/14/2011
Landmark legislation to overhaul outmoded chemicals policy was formally introduced by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would address some of the major flaws of TSCA, and EDF and our partners promised a vigorous campaign to advance it.

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