Sarbanes Pushes to Strengthen Chemical Safety Laws [VIDEO]

October 27, 2021
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today urged legislative action to strengthen chemical safety laws and protect the health and safety of communities against the dangers of toxic chemicals, such as PFAS and asbestos.

During the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing, “TSCA and Public Health: Fulfilling the Promise of the Lautenberg Act,” Congressman Sarbanes discussed the impact of the updated Toxic Substance Control Act’s (TSCA) “pause preemption” provision and explained why the removal of this provision would bolster the Environmental Protection Agency’s partnership with states to effectively regulate dangerous chemicals while assessing their risks.

“I am certainly a long supporter of upgrading and modernizing our chemical safety laws to provide these needed protections to Americans, and the Lautenberg Act – the upgraded version of TSCA – contained very positive reform,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I, myself, had some anxiety around the issue of pause preemption, which allows the federal government frankly to block states from regulating these harmful chemicals by simply proposing to study them.”

Congressman Sarbanes continued, “I certainly appreciate that it’s on Congress to fix this problem of the pause preemption, and I also certainly appreciate that the Biden Administration is likely to be more aligned and in-sync with states that are trying to be on the leading edge when it comes to regulating these toxic chemicals.”

He concluded, “However, my own view is that we need to make a change with respect to that pause preemption and make sure that whoever is going to be on the leading edge of addressing these toxic chemicals has the flexibly to do that – to exercise that leadership.”

See below for a video of the Congressman’s full remarks.