The Toxic Substances Control Act needs to be updated, and since there may not be much progress in Congress, states are taking the issue upon themselves, creating a complicated regulatory landscape, said American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley.
“The lack of certainty makes it difficult for companies that produce and use chemicals to operate efficiently and diverts resources from investment and hiring to managing duplicative and inconsistent regulatory requirements,” Dooley said at the opening of the GlobalChem conference.
Chemicals management needs to be regulated at the federal level because the industry itself reaches across all state borders and touches so many other aspects of the U.S. economy, he said. TSCA can be modernized in a way that restores public confidence in government oversight of chemicals and gives the industry the ability to expand and innovate. “Sound science must be the foundation on which a modern TSCA is built. Both industry and consumers need to have confidence that EPA has a framework in place to ensure that the latest advances in science and technology, proven yet innovative testing methods, and the highest quality data are used in regulatory decision-making,” Dooley said.
Dooley also emphasized the need for greater transparency on the part of the Environmental Protection Agency in its regulatory process. A lack of regulatory certainty can bring an adversarial role between government and industry, but the better the chemical industry understands the process, the better it can work with the government to ensure new regulations both safeguard the public and the environment, and promote innovation.
“These goals cannot be viewed as mutually exclusive. They are essential, complementary qualities: Without growth and innovation, our industry cannot create and foster the breakthrough technologies and tools needed to meet burgeoning health and environmental challenges,” Dooley said.