SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has released comments on the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in Congress, which provides reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) in order to limit the number of dangerous chemicals in the environment.
“California leads the nation in protecting our air, water, and public health, and has taken bold steps to guard against the unsafe presence of toxic chemicals in our state,” Harris said. “I applaud Congress’ bipartisan effort to update and reform the long-standing Toxic Substances Control Act and thank Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-Calif.] for her advocacy to protect California’s public health and environment.”
The final bill advanced by Congress reflects five principles first outlined by Harris and a coalition of attorneys general in January. Under the new law, the scope of state law will be no broader than the scope of the EPA’s action on a chemical. Additionally, states will not be preempted from creating requirements on chemicals pursuant to longstanding laws and will be able to continue to enforce state chemical restrictions. States can maintain their role as co-enforcers of EPA regulations. Finally, state laws related to water quality, air quality and waste treatment and disposal will not be preempted.