2015-06-26 National Governors Association

Toxic Substances Control Act Reform

The Honorable John Shimkus
Chairman
Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr.
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Shimkus and Ranking Member Pallone:

On behalf of the nation’s governors, we applaud your bipartisan leadership on H.R. 2576, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Modernization Act of 2015, that led to its passage by the House by an overwhelming vote of 398-1.

The bill’s amendments to TSCA and retention of key provisions that preserve states’ rights strike a good balance on important health and economic issues in our states.

Specifically, H.R. 2576 would enhance the protection of public health from dangerous chemicals because it:

  • Requires the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess health risks, mandate protection for vulnerable populations and create prompt timelines for analyzing risks and applying safeguards that take costs into consideration.
  • Preserves state authority to protect their citizens until EPA issues a rule to restrict dangerous chemical uses.
  • Includes a savings provision that protects important state laws absent actual conflicts with federal action.
  • Retains TSCA’s provision that gives states a waiver from federal preemption.

The legislation’s straightforward structure and language also clarify how the bill would affect existing law, which will greatly aid implementation.

The unanimous Committee votes and overwhelming passage by the full House are a testament to the bipartisan work underlying H.R. 2576. Governors look forward to working with you to preserve these critical provisions and enact TSCA reforms this year.

Sincerely,

Governor Matthew H. Mead, Wyoming
Chair, Natural Resources Committee

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., California
Vice Chair, Natural Resources Committee

cc: The Honorable David Vitter
The Honorable Tom Udall