The Safe Chemicals Act, a law proposed by Sen. Frank Lautenberg last summer to update the 35-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would finally give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to review harmful chemicals and restrict their use. Until now, the push to reform the TSCA has been a Democratic issue, but in a letter released July 10, 26 senators, including three Republicans, lent their support to chemical safety reform.
The letter stopped short of offering full support for the proposed Safe Chemicals Act, which would increase the EPA's authority to regulate chemicals and require manufacturers to prove their products are safe before putting them on the market. But it did show bipartisan support for the need to update the TSCA.
The letter, addressed to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, stated:
"Americans deserve to know that the chemicals used in everyday consumer products are safe," adding, "This reinforces why there is broad agreement that TSCA must be reformed to protect American families from dangerous chemicals in a cost-effective way, and we urge you to continue to work with Congress to enact consensus reforms,” the letter said.
The letter is signed by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).