This news update regarding The Shimkus Bill is brought to you by www.foreffectivegov.org.
The Shimkus bill, released on April 7, addresses flaws in the current law by removing some of the hurdles EPA must clear before it can act to protect us against dangerous chemicals. However, ambiguous language in the bill opens the door for potential court challenges.
Under TSCA, EPA cannot restrict or ban a chemical unless the agency finds that it presents an “unreasonable risk” of harm to public health or the environment. The agency’s finding must take into consideration the benefits of the substance, the availability of substitute chemicals, and the costs and benefits of imposing restrictions on the chemical.
EPA must then assess possible regulatory alternatives and select the “least burdensome” requirement, which means the agency must propose the least costly rule for the chemical industry, even if a slightly more expensive approach would provide greater benefits to public health and the environment. TSCA also subjects EPA decisions to judicial review under a strict “substantial evidence” standard, which led a court to overturn EPA’s 1989 rule banning cancer-causing asbestos. This means judges are reviewing scientific evidence to rule on whether to allow toxic chemicals to remain on the market.
For more information regarding The Shimkus Bill please follow the www.foreffectivegov.org link above. Please contact Nexreg for regulatory services.