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Safer responds to Senate vote on chemical reform

On the evening of December 17, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would amend the nation’s main chemical policy, the 1976 Toxics Substances Control Act. This new Senate bill reflects the hard work of a number of Senators working to address flaws despite the heavy influence of the multi-billion dollar chemical industry. Although these champions improved the bill from earlier versions, significant flaws remain.

The bill, as passed, would tie the hands of state policymakers who have been the innovators on the front lines of protecting state residents from toxic flame retardants, bisphenol A, lead, cadmium and others hazardous substances found in everyday products.

Over the objections of governors, attorneys general and other leaders in states across the nation, the Senate bill would block state officials from taking action while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies a chemical, creating a regulatory void that could leave the public unprotected.

As lawmakers negotiate a final bill to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions, SAFER states and our partners in communities across the country will continue to work hard to address this void and other weaknesses in the bill that would leave citizens at risk.

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