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Delaware Headlines

Sen. Carper applauds work to revamp chemical safety laws

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Tom Byrne
/
Delaware Public Media

Sen. Tom Carper is touting recently passed federal legislation that aims to bolster chemical safety oversight nationwide.

Carper visited CRODA’s Atlas Point chemical plant in New Castle Monday to discuss the overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Delaware’s senior senator says 40 year-old law was ineffective and outdated, with the EPA fully vetting only a handful of chemicals during its existence.  That, he says, left many unable to trust the safety standards in place to protect them from potentially hazardous toxic substances.

“One of the key questions for me was can we have one rigorous federal standard?  Can we make sure that we are looking at chemicals before they are out and in the environment and in the things that we live in and work with? ” said Carper.

Carper says the bill does that and addresses the issue of a patchwork of regulations created when states jumped in to fill the void left by TSCA's deficits, though he adds achieving that “great compromise” and delivering stronger chemical oversight through common sense regulation was not easy.

“It’s taken us a long time to get to the point where we came up with a rigorous federal standard and gave the states the right to help enforce that federal standard – not to set their own – but enforce what EPA came up with," said Carper.  "We also want to make sure we don’t lose all our manufacturing jobs and I think this legislation will help provide not only a safer environment, but also for businesses predictability and certainty that will allow the to grow and expand.”

Groups as diverse as the Chemical Industry Council of Delaware and Environmental Defense Fund backed the bill, which passed both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support.

It only needs President Obama’s signature to become law.

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