Members of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Task Force continue to step up efforts to meet with members from the House and Senate who have responsibility for modernizing this 1976 legislation. Since February, SOT TSCA Task Force members have met with leaders on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee to talk about the importance of drafting legislation that is grounded on the best available science. SOT Task Force members, including Chair Daland Juberg, Deborah Cory-Slechta, George Gray, Jim Lamb, and Mark Lafranconi, have stressed to staff and Members of Congress that they are not engaged in any policy debates, but rather are seeking Congress’ support for three principles that include the following:
- Flexibility in the choice of the most appropriate specific techniques for generating information used in the safety and risk assessment process.
- Authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency to judge when, and how, to apply new techniques and methods for generating information for safety and risk assessment within TSCA.
- Consistent application of terms and concepts that are used in the safety and risk assessment throughout the proposed legislation.
The House Subcommittee on Environment and Economy has distributed two separate drafts seeking input from various stakeholders. Just recently, the House Democrats on the Subcommittee distributed a red line version for the second draft to indicate what language and changes they are seeking to the House draft. In other action, the Senate has not scheduled any hearings or markups on S. 1009, and it is uncertain what action, if any, the Chair, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D–CA) will take on the measure.
Since March, SOT's TSCA Task Force has submitted three separate letters to address the various drafts that Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) has introduced, including a response to address scientific issues that were raised in the red line version. Since February, this task force has held 24 meetings with various Members and their staff. During each session,Task Force representatives have emphasized the importance of the principles noted above, the toxicologist’s role in implementing TSCA reform legislation, and their willingness to serve as technical advisers to both Democrats and Republicans responsible for modernizing the 1976 statute.