Labor-Environmental Partnership Lauds Effort to Update America’s Toxic Chemicals Law in Senate
WASHINGTON, DC. (July 25, 2012) Today the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Committee approved the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 — a bill authored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D – NJ) that would update America’s woefully outdated Toxic Substances Control Act of 1974 (TSCA). The following is a statement from David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance:
“Since it became law, TSCA has been ineffectual at protecting American citizens, American jobs, and our environment. Today’s vote is a positive step to fixing the law. In the years since TSCA became law, 80,000 chemicals have been produced and the EPA has only tested 200 chemicals. It simply hasn’t worked.
“We have an opportunity to create and save jobs by producing greener, safer chemicals. Since 1992, the chemical industry, excluding pharmaceuticals, has eliminated more than 300,000 jobs. If these trends continue, more than 230,000 additional jobs will disappear by 2030. However, if 20 percent of current production were to shift from petrochemical-based plastics to bio-based plastics, 104,000 additional jobs would be created in the U.S.
“The Safe Chemicals Act will — by reforming TSCA — create a drive to those greener, safer chemicals, spurring innovation and revitalizing the U.S. chemicals industry, much like fuel-efficiency standards are revitalizing the U.S. auto industry.
“Today’s vote positive and we urge Congress to take this opportunity to pass this important law.”