The Senate’s TSCA reform bill, S.697, remains on track for a Senate floor vote in October. Other priorities, however, may still get in the way, including a highway funding bill. And, even if S.697 succeeds in the Senate, it will have to be reconciled with the narrower House TSCA reform bill, H.R. 2576, before TSCA reform can be enacted this year.
The key point of contention with S.697 is its preemptive scope. Senator Boxer, in particular, repeatedly has expressed concerns about S.697’s preemption provisions potentially curtailing states’ rights to enact and enforce their own toxics laws. The preemption provisions of H.R. 2576 are narrower in scope.
The two bills have contrasting approaches in other provisions as well. For example, S.697 would amend TSCA’s Section 5 (new chemicals) and Section 6 (existing chemicals); H.R. 2576 would only amend amend provisions for regulation of existing chemicals and would leave current TSCA Section 5 intact.
With other proposed legislation on the Senate’s agenda, it will remain to be seen whether TSCA reform will stay on the Senate’s radar this legislative session.