‘Chemical Safety Improvement Act’ Not, In Fact, An Improvement, Analyst Says

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2013 — Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., surprised the Senate with their introduction of legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act on Wednesday, and Angela Logomasini of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is not convinced this is a terrific idea.

The senators say the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 would, “for the first time, ensure that all chemicals are screened for safety protect public health and the environment …” and create “an environment where manufacturers can continue to innovate, grow and create jobs.”

Logomasini, a senior fellow in CEI’s Center for Energy and the Environment, says the current law did not need this kind of help.

“Although the legislation is unavailable at this time, I am pessimistic about what will come out. The law, as it now stands, has one of the most robust, risk- and science-based standards on the books. This standard holds regulators accountable and allows bureaucrats to regulate only when they can demonstrate -a product poses a real risk. It also prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing regulations that promise to do more harm than good and requires regulators to conduct cost-benefit analyses for banning or regulating useful products.

“Modernization likely will undermine this reasonable standard and eventually harm consumer freedom, innovation, and wealth generation as EPA passes more needless regulations and chemical bans — forcing companies to engage in expensive product reformulations or abandon them altogether.”