It appears that the U.S. Senate will approve the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697) before the end of 2015. The bill, which has the general support of the chemical industry and some major environmental groups, would amend many provisions of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Under the helm of Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), supporters of the bill state that they have assurances that 60 senators will vote in favor of S. 697, making the legislation invulnerable to a filibuster.
The House has already passed its own TSCA reform bill. Should S. 697 pass the Senate as expected, House leaders will need to decide if they will vote on the Senate bill or call for a conference committee to reconcile the two bills.
According to Udall, S. 697 would revise TSCA to require for the first time that the EPA review new and existing chemicals and regulate them based on the impact they would have on the most vulnerable groups, which are defined in the bill as infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and chemical industry workers.