Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson called the 32-year-old statute governing toxic substances a flawed tool for protecting the public from the more than 80,000 chemicals that are on the market. Those chemicals, which do not include pesticides or drugs, are used in everything from cell phones to plastic drinking-water bottles. Not all of them are still in use, experts said.
“The American people are looking to the government for assurance that chemicals have been assessed using the best available science and unacceptable risks haven’t been ignored,” Jackson said in a conference call with reporters before a formal announcement in San Francisco. “Unfortunately, the current law does not allow us to grant them that assurance.” . . .
The Obama administration wants Congress to craft a law that will require chemical manufacturers to provide enough information so that the EPA can evaluate the risks, and to give the agency the authority to act against chemicals it determines to be dangerous.
I found this bit of the story particularly interesting:
Many of the reforms the administration has suggested largely mirror those advanced by the chemical manufacturing industry, which is concerned about a patchwork of regulations at the state and local level.
Here are the EPA Press Release on Administrator Jackson’s speech and EPA’s “Essential Principles for Reform of Chemicals Management Legislation.”