Democrats on the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy have proposed a revised version [PDF] of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA), the bill which Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) first introduced in April to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). However, spokespeople from both sides of the aisle expressed that continued bipartisan work was still needed. A spokesperson for Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) told Chemical Watch that Democrats have “not heard back on the legislative language” they proposed, while Rep. Shimkus’ office said that the Congressman’s “door remains open to any serious attempts to find common ground and move bipartisan TSCA reform through the House this year.” The Democrats’ negotiating language, presented as a redlined version of CICA, proposes user fees that would be assessed on chemical manufacturers and processors and shortens deadlines. According to Bloomberg BNA, Republican committee aides called the Democratic proposal a nonstarter.
Meanwhile, there have been no reported updates on progress toward a new version of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) on the Senate side.
Comments from industry and NGO stakeholders reflect tempered hopes for the prospect of passing TSCA reform this year. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) stated that, “With good-faith efforts from the Committee Democrats to develop a workable consensus, we believe there may still be opportunities to pass meaningful reform this year,” while Bill Almond, Vice President of Government Relations of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), said that if Democratic leaders would “move toward a more reasonable position,” then “TSCA reform still has a chance of passage this year.” Andy Ingrejas, director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, said the chance for passage depends on whether Republicans decide “to negotiate for real on language now that they have it” or if they are “punting for next year.”