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Dear Karen [D'Andrea, PSR Maine],
Thank you for sharing your support for meaningful chemical safety reform and thoughts on the latest proposal from Senator Vitter and Senator Udall. In the past four decades since the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed, countless new chemicals have been developed, and while many of those chemicals have made our lives easier and helped expand our economy, there currently is no framework to certify their safety. We need science-based chemical safety reform that comprehensively addresses safety and transparency for consumers, streamlines testing and disclosure procedures for chemical manufacturers, and promotes the innovation of safe alternatives to known toxins.
Foremost, chemical safety reform must restore our awareness of all the chemicals in use today and be structured so that yet-undiscovered chemicals can be properly tested, categorized, and regulated if and when they are used in the future. This bill contains a number of advances over previous proposals and I am encouraged that there is bipartisan support for action on this issue.
My staff and I are currently taking a close look at this proposal. One of my main concerns is the bill's preemption provisions – Maine has helped lead the nation in toxic chemical safety legislation, and I don't want to see that progress undone or blocked in the future. I will continue to push for a bill that includes adequate protections for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, children, and those who work in certain industries, makes sure that reviews are based on sound science and risk-based criteria that protect human and environmental health, and protects the work that states like Maine have already done.
It's unacceptable to me that nearly forty years have passed since our nation's chemical safety regulations have been updated. I hope that all sides stay at the table and finally get this done. Again, I appreciate your support on this important issue.
ANGUS S. KING, JR.
United States Senator