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Congress to update Toxic Substances Control Act.

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World Cement,

For the first time in 26 years, Congress is updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which governs the regulation of hazardous chemicals. The bill was approved by the US House of Representatives on 24 May, and it is expected to be taken up by the US Senate in early June.

When signed into law, TSCA will force the EPA to start a new regulatory review process, as well as encouraging the agency to give priority to substances that persist and accumulate in humans. The bill requires a scientific evaluation as to whether a chemical has enough public health risks to warrant regulation. If the agency then decides a chemical poses an unreasonable danger to humans, the EPA is required to issue risk management rules. The new requirements can include everything from new labels to an outright ban. In deciding a ban, EPA must consider the availability of feasible alternatives.

“An update of TSCA is long overdue,” said Michael W. Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “It would be a remarkable accomplishment to see this bill approved with bipartisan support, given the politicised climate of Congress.” The last time Congress passed such a major environment bill was the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

The bill has been endorsed by both Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and ranking Democrat Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

“NSSGA plans to be very vigilant and involved when the EPA begins implementing this legislation,” Johnson said. He indicated that the association will actively oppose any attempt by EPA to regulate common rock dust particles.

Adapted from press release by

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