From Environment Maine:
Reflecting a bipartisan consensus, Maine legislative leaders introduced a joint resolution today calling on Congress to modernize the federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Maine moms, dads, businesses, and health care providers have heightened their call for reform of the chemical safety law that they say is obsolete and fails to assure parents that the products they use and purchase are free from dangerous chemicals that threaten the health of their families.
“We’re thrilled that Maine leaders have united to send this life-saving message to Congress,” said Mike Belliveau, President of the Environmental Health Strategy Center. “They chose to stand with Maine moms and doctors working to pass the Safe Chemicals Act, not the chemical industry that’s opposed. We need Senators Snowe and Collins to forge a bipartisan fix to our broken chemical safety system.”
President Kevin Raye sponsored the joint resolution (SP 679) with bipartisan support from legislative leadership, including Senate Minority Leader Barry Hobbins, Speaker Robert Nutting, House Minority Leader Emily Cain, and top members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The joint resolution follows editorial support from five state newspapers calling on Senators Snowe and Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847). The federal bill will be voted on in Committee at the end of April, and on the floor of the U.S. Senate soon thereafter.
A new poll released today sought to discover what likely Maine voters want in a U.S. Senate candidate when it comes to the environment and public health. Ninety two percent said it was important for the U.S. government to require safer chemicals in consumer products. The NRDC Action Fund and Environment Maine sponsored the poll of 841 likely Maine voters, which was conducted March 27-28 by Public Policy Polling, a research firm based in North Carolina.
Emily Figdor, Director of Environment Maine, remarked: “There’s overwhelming public and political support in Maine for safer products. The consumer product companies want federal reform too; the only ones standing in the way are corporations like Dow Chemical and ExxonMobil Chemical. We need Senators Snowe and Collins to stand up to the chemical companies and be heroes in the U.S. Senate.”
The Safe Chemicals Act would require chemical companies to demonstrate the safety of their products, while filling gaps in health and safety information provided to the public. The Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use the best available science to protect pregnant women and children from all sources of exposure to a toxic chemical. The legislation also rewards businesses that innovate to develop safer chemicals and products, which supporters say would be good for Maine’s economy.
Additional details can be found here.