AG Gansler Opposes Harmful Provisions of Chemical Safety Improvement Act
Senate bill would restrict state powers to protect constituents from toxic chemicals
Baltimore, MD ( July 31, 2013) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, joined by eight other attorneys general, today informed members of Congress of his strong objections to the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009) in its current form. The letter outlines the shared concern that S.1009, which amends the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), jeopardizes public health and safety by severely limiting states' long-standing power to protect the public from toxic chemicals.
"While we agree it's time to update TSCA, we can't remain silent as members of Congress consider gutting the long-standing authority of state governments to protect our citizens," said Attorney General Gansler. "This threat is of even greater concern given that some in Washington want to chop the funding of our environmental watchdogs at the federal level, too."
Attorney General Gansler is joined by Attorneys Generals from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. The letter details their concerns that S.1009's preemption provisions are too broad.
Maryland currently provides protections, especially for children, under State law. The concerns expressed to Congress today extend to Maryland's ability to provide the same level of protection as new threats from harmful chemicals arise in the future. Examples of the types of laws that protect Marylanders and our children which could be impacted by sweeping preemption under the current version of S.1009 include:
- Regulation of products with brominated flame retardants
- Ban on manufacture and sale of lead-containing children's products and,
- Regulation of cadmium in children's jewelry
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is holding hearings on S. 1009 in Washington today.
To read the letter to Congress visit: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/TSCA_Multistate_Letter.pdf