Chemical Regulation to Update 39-Year-Old Law
You may have heard that the world of chemical regulation is about to change. And it is, for good reason.
It has been 39 years since the US last passed a law to broadly regulate chemicals and their use. That nearly four-decade period has seen huge changes in chemicals and environmental protection, but no change in the underlying law.
That is likely to change. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act would update a 39-year-old law that didn’t even allow the U.S. to regulate asbestos.
According to a story in NJ.com:
“The bill would give the Environmental Protection Agency new powers to oversee the safety of chemicals on public health and the environment, based on current science and would set national standards rather than allow states to act on their own. The agency would not be allowed to take cost into consideration.
It would pre-exempt new state rules, though states could regulate any chemicals that the EPA does not, and could seek waivers to impose their own standards. States could act if the federal government does not, and could help enforce the new federal law, though penalties would be paid to either the state or federal government, not both.”
If that sounds frightening, it could be, but depends on details that could take years to work out.
Today, the bill has 60 co-sponsors in the Senate, and a version cleared the House in June, making the bill that rare example of bipartisan support for environmental legislation.
President Obama is expected to sign a bill into law once Congress drafts and approves a final version for his signature. What the new law means for PCW customers remains a bit murky and will vary greatly from one company to another although many can expect higher regulatory fees and likely some new compliance expenses.
Specifics, however, depend on regulations created in response to the law at both the state and federal levels. We will, of course, gather this information for our clients as soon as it becomes available, reducing the uncertainty of a changing regulatory environment.
We encourage ProComplianceWare clients to be aware of what is happening but not to worry or panic until more information about the law’s impact becomes available.