TSCA Reform: Preserving Tort and Regulatory Approaches

21 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2016

See all articles by Emily Hammond

Emily Hammond

George Washington University - Law School

Thomas Owen McGarity

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

Sidney A. Shapiro

Wake Forest University School of Law

Wendy E. Wagner

University of Texas at Austin – School of Law

James Goodwin

Center for Progressive Reform

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

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weakened — the civil justice systems by years of tort "reform," and federal and state regulatory systems by outdated laws and an ongoing campaign by industry and its allies against protective regulation.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

Hammond, Emily and McGarity, Thomas Owen and Shapiro, Sidney A. and Wagner, Wendy E. and Goodwin, James, TSCA Reform: Preserving Tort and Regulatory Approaches (October 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2733769

Emily Hammond

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Thomas Owen McGarity

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-1384 (Phone)

Sidney A. Shapiro

Wake Forest University School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
336-758-5430 (Phone)

Wendy E. Wagner

University of Texas at Austin – School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

James Goodwin (Contact Author)

Center for Progressive Reform ( email )

455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150-513
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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