It seems that TSCA reform is heating up for this and next year, but the form it will ultimately take is still quite hazy. Senator Lautenberg and Representatives Waxman and Solis introduced the Kid Safe Chemical Act (KSCA) twice before, and the Senator is about to take a third swing at it very soon. In its last iteration, the placed the onus for testing and demonstrating safety on industry, but still essentially retained a conventional risk management approach to chemical policy. There is talk that the newest version might shift those obligations to the agency.
EPA is apparently thinking about reform of a different stripe as well. Inside EPA recently reported that Steve Owen, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substance, told state regulators of the agency’s intent to reinvigorate TSCA regulatory activities. Owen noted that EPA is “coming up with strategies for using the authority we do have under [TSCA] to go as far as we think we can toward not only getting information and making information public but also taking steps to restrict and in some cases even banning substances that may be presenting unreasonable risk of harm to people in this country.”