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Senate passes chemical safety bill

December 21, 2015

Washington – The Senate on Dec. 17 passed legislation that would reform the nation’s chemical safety laws by requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to make decisions based on how chemicals affect workers and other individuals.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697) overhauls the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Under the bill, EPA would conduct safety reviews for all chemicals in active commerce, review and approve chemicals coming on the market each year, and consider only the health and environmental impact a chemical may have when deciding whether to allow its sale or manufacture. The bill is named for the late New Jersey senator who worked for several years during his career to update TSCA.

Similar legislation (H.R. 2576) passed out of the House in June. Congressional members must now reconcile differences between the two bills to move forward.