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Leaders Praise EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s Plans for Chemical Reform

Release Date: 10/01/2009
Contact Information: 202-564-6794

Leaders Praise EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s Plans for Chemical Reform
WASHINGTON – Stakeholders and members of Congress are commending an historic announcement by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to reform America’s chemical management law in order to help protect all Americans. On Tuesday, September 29, Administrator Jackson announced core principles that outline the Obama Administration’s goals for legislative reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, TSCA. In parallel with this legislative initiative, Administrator Jackson also announced plans for a major effort to strengthen EPA’s current chemical management program and increase the pace of the agency’s efforts to address chemicals that pose a risk to the public.
The following are statements from stakeholders and members of Congress in response to Administrator Jackson’s announcement:
Sept 29: Statement by
U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ): “America’s system for regulating toxic chemicals is broken. Far too little is known about the hundreds of chemicals that end up in our bodies and EPA has far too little authority to determine their safety. Today’s announcement marks a breakthrough for public health and makes clear that President Obama and the EPA understand the problem and will fight for the right solution. I will introduce legislation soon to turn these new principles into law. Americans deserve to know that products they rely on – from household cleaners to personal care products to building materials – are safe and will not harm their families.”
Sept 29: “What a refreshing change,” said
Dr. Arnold Schecter of the University of Texas School of Public Health, Dallas, who studies persistent organic pollutants such as the ones the EPA singled out for special review. He has found PBDEs in 100 percent of American mothers’ breast milk tested, with some women carrying “orders of magnitude” more than women in Europe, where the compounds have been phased out since 2004. Schecter said stronger federal action on risks from persistent organic compounds was overdue.
Sept 29: “It’s a tremendous step forward,” said
Richard Wiles, head of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based environmental group. He noted that the George W. Bush administration had opposed any significant changes in the law.
Sept. 29: “The chorus of voices calling for reform of our nation’s chemical regulations now includes the Obama administration, health professionals, environmental advocates, the states, and even industry,” said
Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen. “Now we look to Congress to join the fight to protect our children and our environment from dangerous chemicals.
Sept 29
: “It’s historic. They’re very clear that this is about a new law, new rules of the game. It’s not about little tweaks. This is a fundamental overhaul,” says Richard Wiles, senior vice president for policy at the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C.
Sept 29: “We understand that industry has to provide more data and a greater transparency to that data,” said
Cal Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council. “Without a comprehensive approach, the American people will be left with minor adjustments to the current federal regime, and a patchwork of state and federal laws that will not enable a robust chemical management system that can become the gold standard for the world.”
Sept 29: “The Obama administration is in sync with a public demanding safer chemicals and better information they can use to protect their families from toxic chemicals,” said
Andy Igrejas, National Campaign Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
Sept. 30: “There’s general agreement that we need to reform this law,” says Glenn Ruskin with the American Chemical Society, representing chemists and chemical engineers. “That’s very rare that you find such typically disparate groups agreeing.”
Sept 30: “The system we have now assumes that chemicals are innocent until proven guilty,” said
Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. “These reforms introduced today would flip that.”
Sept 30: “This really gets the ball rolling,” said
Ernie Rosenberg, President & CEO of The Soap and Detergent Association which represents the U.S. cleaning products industry. “Cleaning product makers and their suppliers want to ensure that there is public confidence in the system that governs the use and management of the ingredients in our product