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BPC Leaders Applaud Bipartisan Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Washington D.C. – Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) applauded the introduction of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Introduced by Senators Udall (D-NM) and Vitter (R-LA), this bipartisan bill will revise the forty-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to better suit the needs of our nation’s primary chemical regulatory framework in the twenty-first century.

Former Senators and BPC Senior Advisors Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott stated, “We believe that the regulatory framework [Senator Udall and Senator Vitter] propose will provide better public health protection than the existing statute and strongly endorse your effort to develop the legislation through a bipartisan process incorporating input from a diverse array of stakeholders.”

The full text of their letter can be found here or below.


Dear Senators Udall and Vitter:

On behalf of the Bipartisan Policy Center, we are writing to commend your bipartisan efforts with the introduction of The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. We believe that the regulatory framework you propose will provide better public health protection than the existing statute and strongly endorse your effort to develop the legislation through a bipartisan process incorporating input from a diverse array of stakeholders.

The forty year-old TSCA law is in need of revisions to bring our nation’s primary chemical regulatory framework into the twenty-first century. The current law is broadly considered ineffective failing to regulate many chemicals that have entered the marketplace in the last several decades. Since 1976, scientists’ understanding of chemicals and their impacts have increased dramatically. This legislation will provide a clearer framework for regulating the safety of toxic chemicals in everyday products for the protection of consumers. Further, it will update and better define the EPA’s authority and responsibilities under TSCA, and enhance cooperation between state and federal regulators.

During our time in the Senate, we each had many opportunities to work with the late Senator Frank Lautenberg who first proposed updates to TSCA. Frank devoted much of his career to protecting public health. His courage to spearhead improvements to this outdated law is the spirit of leadership that we both endorse.

We also applaud the bipartisan process that has brought this legislation together. As senior fellows at the Bipartisan Policy Center, we believe that principled collaboration is the only way to address real problems. Your efforts to bridge complex and, at times, impassioned differences is not easy and almost never popular, but it is the essence of legislating. When viewed against the current backdrop of partisan division, your success in garnering the support of 15 bipartisan co-sponsors on this challenging issue is important and commendable. We are also encouraged by your commitment to seek additional input to further strengthen the legislation as it moves forward. If successful, this bipartisan effort to update and strengthen one of our nation’s most important environmental statutes will improve public health and set an example for future legislative accomplishment.

Sincerely,

Senator Trent Lott
Senior Fellow
Bipartisan Policy Center

Senator Byron Dorgan
Senior Fellow
Bipartisan Policy Center

KEYWORDS: DAVID VITTER, TOM UDALL, TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT