Nine Attorneys General Voice Strong Opposition to Chemical Safety Improvement Act

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today released a letter that she and eight other Attorneys General sent to Congress strongly objecting to the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009) in its current form.

The letter outlines their 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.

“This bill puts Californians at risk from toxic chemicals and inhibits the development of safer, cleaner products,” said Attorney General Harris. “California is a national leader in protecting public health and the environment from dangerous chemicals–and we aim to stay that way.”

California was joined by Attorneys Generals from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. The letter outlines shared concern that S.1009’s preemption provisions are too broad.

In California the following programs, among others, are at risk under the current version of S.1009:

  • The statewide ban on certain flame retardants.
  • Laws limiting the use of volatile organic compounds in consumer products—a significant cause of ozone pollution and asthma.
  • Proposition 65, which has resulted in manufacturers disclosing dangerous chemicals and reformulating products to reduce their levels. Examples include the reduction of lead in children’s bounce houses, playground structures and costume jewelry.
  • California’s Green Chemistry Program, which promotes the use of safer alternatives to toxic chemicals in everyday products.

Michael Troncoso, Senior Counsel to Attorney General Harris, will testify Wednesday on the bill in front of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Last month, Attorney General Harris’ office sent a letter to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer outlining initial concerns about S.1009.

The Attorneys General letter can be found attached to this release at www.oag.ca.gov/news

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PDF icon TSCA Multistate Letter632.06 KB