Download PDF
June 6, 2014

Most Agree More Money Needed for TSCA; How Much, for What, Remain Unclear

The ACTA Group

Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report quoted Lynn L. Bergeson and B&C affiliate Charles Auer in a Special Report on TSCA Reform published today.

Charles Auer, a consultant who led TSCA implementation throughout most of his 32-year career at the EPA, agreed it will be challenging to resolve the many valid questions that would arise on user fees. It would be unwise, however, to continue to ignore the question of funding in TSCA reform discussions, he said. ‘It’s always been the elephant in the room,’ Auer said. The number of questions Republicans and Democrats asked Jones to answer April 29, combined with a proposal to revise the Chemicals in Commerce Act put forward by the Democrats, show that Congress is more engaged on the funding question than it ever has been, Auer said.

“Time for TSCA reform in this Congress is running out, and indeed it may be too late already, several policy analysts have observed in published commentaries. In separate commentaries, Richard Denison, a senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, and Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell PC, discussed the urgency of finding common ground on TSCA reform. Articles they wrote were included in TSCA Redux: Rejuvenating a Timeworn Statute, which was part of the May/June issue of the Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Forum. Compromise is tough, thankless and unsatisfying, but necessary, wrote Denison in his article, ‘Chemical Safety Reform: Will the Center Hold?’ The article described what Denison called legitimate core principles held by different stakeholders. Those differences are hard to reconcile, but they must be, he wrote. ‘The alternative—sticking with a piecemeal system that undermines consumer confidence and puts our health at risk—is no alternative at all,’ Denison wrote. In her article, ‘Do It Now Or It May Never Be Done,’ Bergeson also said approaches to modernizing TSCA are ‘far from aligned.’ Whatever momentum still exists will dissipate in what could be a dramatically different Congress after the midterm elections, she wrote. That means the U.S. may well be on a path to declining to modernize TSCA, Bergeson wrote.”