June 22, 2017

Udall Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Landmark Chemical Safety Reform

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law Udall’s landmark bipartisan legislation, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, to overhaul the nation’s broken chemical safety program:

“A year ago, Republicans and Democrats came together with President Obama to sign into law the most sweeping environmental legislation in over 20 years, the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Congress' intent was clear: to prioritize public health and safety by ensuring that chemicals, both existing and new, are tested and determined safe for all of their known, intended and reasonably foreseen uses.

“For the first time in a generation, the new law ensured that we could expect the Environmental Protection Agency to be a cop on the beat, protecting the American people from unsafe chemicals.

“A year later, we are at a critical point for the new law, at the same time that the administration is proposing to slash the budget of the EPA, deny basic science, politicize the EPA’s scientific advisory process, and prioritize business interests over health. The EPA's implementation of the Lautenberg Act is underway, starting with the program to conduct more robust reviews of new chemicals. Today, the EPA released its framework rules for implementing the law and scoping documents for the first 10 existing chemicals to assess for risk. There is a lot at stake and we must ensure that EPA acts as Congress intended — to prioritize safety, especially for pregnant women, infants, the elderly and chemical industry workers.

“As we move forward, the Trump administration must avoid the temptation to include giveaways that are not authorized. It is essential that we don't erode any of the provisions guaranteeing Americans' protection from dangerous chemicals, and I will be fighting hard, as the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the EPA's budget, to ensure we do.”