On June 22, President Obama signed into law the first update in 40 years to the nation’s chemical review standards. The law, which updates the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), was endorsed by a variety of industries as well as environmental groups. Among the TSCA reform highlights, it limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to pre-empt state oversight of commercial chemicals.
The update is intended to speed up the process for review of chemicals by EPA. Under current law, restrictions imposed on the chemicals by the EPA pre-empt those by states, but the federal agency has placed restrictions on just five chemicals – out of 23,000 introduced – since the law was enacted.
“I'm absolutely confident that we can regulate toxic chemicals in a way that's both good for our families and ultimately good for business and our economy,” said President Obama.