Federal Toxics Law Grows Up: Congress Strengthens the Toxic Substances Control Act

President Obama has signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time since it was enacted in 1976. The compromise bill passed by Congress is a major accomplishment at the end of President’s Obama’s administration.

The amendment will add new teeth to TSCA, a federal statute regulating the manufacture and sale of chemicals. The law has long been considered as ineffectual due in part to a requirement that EPA implement the “least burdensome” regulations. By removing that language and giving new regulatory powers to EPA, the Lautenberg Act will significantly change the regulatory landscape for chemical manufacturers, processors, and importers.

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