Posted on 24/08/2016 in News 32 2016
US Chemical Safety Act signed into law with consensus

On 22nd June, President Obama signed into law the US Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, with applause from industry and environmental NGOs and with political consensus. The Act considerably updates the 1976 TCSA (Toxic Substances Control Act) which failed even to enable the US EPA to fully regulate substances such as asbestos.

The new Act empowers the EPA to prevent chemicals identified as problematic from being placed on the market or to request further information (placing on the market will require some evidence of safety), to require testing of chemicals without first showing potential risk (and by a simple Order rather than by Rulemaking as at present), mandates EPA to review safety of existing chemicals (based on a risk-based prioritisation process), rationalises requirements for cost-benefit analysis of proposed measures and will improve data transparency (limits to Confidential Business Information). NGO critics however say the Act will limit individual States legislating chemicals and that EPA does not have adequate resources for implementation.

US Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, Bill HR2576 and analysis of how the new Act will change compared to TSCA.

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