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SOCMA Tells Congress TSCA Reform Bill Creates Major Challenges for Industry, EPA

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) told Congress that recently-introduced legislation to reform U.S. chemical safety laws is overreaching and unworkable, saying it would have a substantially negative impact on an industry already fighting recession and foreign competition.
In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Beth D. Bosley, president of Boron Specialties, said the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 (H.R. 5820) poses overwhelming challenges for batch, custom and specialty chemical manufacturers. While Bosley noted some improvements in the bill, including the requirement for varied and tiered testing, she expressed deep concern over the eventual loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs as a result of the bill.

“It is more important than ever that we maintain our competitive edge as innovators,” Bosley stated. “The U.S. chemical industry’s competitiveness has continued to decrease substantially in recent years due to competition from countries, like China and India, with lower resource costs, lower wage standards, and a less burdensome regulatory environment.”

Bosley highlighted the following major concerns with the legislation:

* Inappropriate Safety Standard – the standards used to regulate drugs and food additives should not be used as the model for regulating industrial chemicals. The bill presents major roadblocks to market entry even for low risk chemicals.

* New Chemicals and New Use Requirement – the bill requires an unnecessary increase in testing and reporting, discouraging research and development and introduction of new chemicals or new applications in existing chemicals into the market.

* Inclusion of Mixtures – this expansion would overwhelm the Environmental Protection Agency and disadvantage the industry.  It would require a massive increase in paperwork for submittal to EPA for mixtures containing chemical substances that do not have an identified risk.

* Lack of Confidential Business Information Protection – by disclosing chemical identity and components of a mixture in health and safety studies, we will promote foreign undercutting of the industry.

* No State Preemption – the potential for disruption of interstate commerce will remain without some kind of preemption in place.
SOCMA has testified before this subcommittee numerous times on modernizing TSCA and most recently participated in a month-long stakeholder discussion, during which the House Energy and Commerce Committee gathered feedback from industry groups, including SOCMA, on the draft version of this legislation.

SOCMA looks forward to continuing its efforts to promote recommendations for a pragmatic approach to TSCA reform with members of Congress.

For more information regarding SOCMA’s position on the safety standard, visit www.SafeForUse.net.

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