SOT’s TSCA Efforts Continue During Lame Duck Session


By Martha Lindauer posted 12-04-2014 08:53


The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Task Force continues efforts on Capitol Hill following the November elections. Just recently, the Task Force filed a set of comments on the most recent Udall-Vitter version of the TSCA reform bill and the Democratic response to that version of the bill. 

In a letter to the Democratic Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA), SOT TSCA Task Force Chair Daland R. Juberg and Co-Chair Mark Lafranconi, with additional team input from William H. Farland and Susan J. Borghoff, again emphasized the importance of ensuring that language used in any reform legislation allow flexibility in the choice of the most appropriate specific techniques for generating information used in the risk and safety assessment process. The SOT Task Force leaders also urged that Congress protect the authority of the US Environmental Protection Agency to judge when, and how, to apply new techniques and methods of generating information for safety and risk assessment within TSCA.They also urged that terms and concepts used in any reform legislation be applied consistently throughout the proposed legislation.

A full version of the letter can be viewed on the SOT website. 

Over the last year, the TSCA Task Force engaged in the following efforts on behalf of the Society:

 • Conducted a series of educational meetings with 23 staff members from the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

 • Submitted four separate letters to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy detailing the Society’s perspective concerning the importance of the scientific underpinnings of TSCA reform legislation and has provided the Subcommittee with its evaluation of the varous draft bills that were put forward in 2014.

 •  Explained the scientific meaning of such concepts as hazard, vulnerable populations, exposure, mixtures, and risk assessment during Congressional Staff meetings. 

 •  Sponsored an educational session in September for eight key staff members of the House Subcommittee at their request to clarify staff questions regarding various scientific concepts and terms that are fundamental to TSCA reform legislation. The TSCA Task Force has been asked to consider similar meetings with the Senate staff and has received feedback that their meetings have been productive and educational.

 •  Conducted a Sunrise session (March 2014) for the SOT membership on TSCA reform legislation and provided them with an overview of what the Task Force has accomplished over the past year.

The TSCA Task Force was established by SOT Council for the purpose of providng SOT's expertise available to Members of Congress to support the redefinition of TSCA-related issues for policymakers and the public. This task force does not advocate for any specific legislative proposal. In addition to Drs. Juberg, Lafranconi, Farland, and Borghoff mentioned above, this task force also includes Lorrene A. Buckley (SOT Council Contact), Leigh Ann Burns Naas (SOT Co-Council Contact), Deborah A. Cory-Slechta, Ronald S. Filler, George M. Gray, Michael P. Holsapple, James C. Lamb, IV, Moiz Mumtaz, Ruthann A. Rudel, and Robert S. Skoglund.