06 October 2009 22:19 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The top US environmental regulator on Tuesday promised to reform the nation’s chemicals control law to give consumers protection and reassurance but also provide manufacturers with the certainty needed for investment.
Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told a chemicals management conference that the existing ?xml:namespace>
The agency announced last week a set of core principles that
She said that TSCA has proven inadequate to effective and safe management of chemicals in commerce, and that as long as the federal government delays taking reform action the situation will worsen, both for consumers and business.
“We know far too little about new chemicals coming into the market,” she said. “And as states and other countries take action, manufacturers have far too little certainty on how they will be regulated”.
In reviewing the reform principles announced last week,
She also insisted that regulatory reform must ensure that “in all cases, EPA and chemical producers must act on priority chemicals in a timely manner, with firm deadlines to maintain accountability”.
“This will not only assure prompt protection of health and the environment but provide business with the certainty that it needs for planning and investment,” she said.
She also urged an expansion of EPA staff in order to implement a reformed chemicals control programme, and she called on industry to contribute “its fair share of the costs of implementing new requirements”.
US chemical industry officials have expressed willingness to help fund the agency’s expanded role under a reformed controls programme.
In separate remarks at the conference, American Chemistry Council (ACC) president Cal Dooley welcomed
Dooley also welcomed the EPA’s bid for a comprehensive improvement of the chemicals control law. “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,” he said.
There are plans in the US Congress to take up reform of TSCA in what remains of this legislative year, but no real progress on a comprehensive replacement statute is expected before late next year.
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