TSCA Reform: Preserving Tort and Regulatory Approaches
21 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2013
In the United States, the framework for safeguarding people and the environment against the dangers of toxic chemicals comprises three mutually reinforcing legal systems: federal regulation, state and federal civil justice systems, and state regulation. Each part of the framework however, has been substantially weakened — the civil justice systems by years of tort "reform," and federal and state regulatory systems by outdated laws and an ongoing campaign by industry and its allies against protective regulation.
Congress is now considering competing bills to fix one part of this framework — the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the principal statute governing federal regulation of toxic chemicals. The two bills — the more protective Safer Chemical Act (SCA) and the industry-backed Chemical Safety Improvements Act (CSIA) — both fall short of what is needed to fix TSCA, albeit to a widely varying degree — while weakening the civil justice systems and state regulation even more.
This Issue Alert seeks to explain how each part of the three-part protective framework contributes to reducing the risks posed by chemicals, and it recommends ways that TSCA reform can strengthen all three parts of the protective framework.
Keywords: Congress, Regulations, TSCA, Legislation, Chemicals, Public Health, Safety
JEL Classification: K23, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation