Those in the world of Chemistry and Chemical Manufacturing are hoping that 2013 is the year that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will be modernized. Updates to TSCA would reflect five years of work by organizations such as the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) to ensure workplace and environmental safety in terms of toxic substances.
According to a recent article, the ACC and SOCMA began pushing Congress in 2008 to update the act, which was originally written in 1976. ACC developed 10 Principles for Modernizing TSCA in 2009 to help guide the process. SOCMA is asking the legislature to focus on three primary elements: “resetting the TSCA inventory to reflect the chemicals actually in commerce, prioritizing the inventory based on risk...and leveraging existing programs that have been effective, while learning from those that have not been successful.”
Both organizations are hopeful that Congress will look at the specifics of the act to ensure that valid modernization efforts are put into place. They want to avoid broad strokes of updates that don’t take into account the complexities of engaging in business while reliant on chemicals.
The biggest hurdle TSCA modernization faces is bipartisan as well as industry support of proposed updates. Previous updates, such as the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, have been left to languish or have died before being passed. That particular act had neither the support of House Republicans nor of the industry at large. While the bill had been an improvement over the previous iteration in 2010, its terms still fell short of what were deemed necessary updates.
Hopes are high that a bill promised to be introduced this year by Senator Vitter of Louisiana will contain the necessary compromises for bipartisan support. As with any bill that goes through Congress, industry members will simply have to wait and see what what terms it contains and if bipartisan support can be reached. Industry representatives are optimistic, however, that 2013 is the year for TSCA.
Emilcott’s certified, professional staff understands all levels of EHS requirements associated with fully operational industrial, manufacturing and R&D facilities. We can help you understand any applicable TSCA reporting requirements and or other issues relating to environmental, health & safety.
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