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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

U.S. House Takes Up New EPA Dangerous Chemical Review Bill


The U.S. House is scheduled to take up legislation today designed to help the EPA better protect consumers from dangerous chemicals.

The bill also helps the agency pay for reviewing chemicals. The Natural Resources Defense Council says an estimated 80,000 chemicals have not been fully tested for their impact on human health and the environment.

The Toxic Substances Control Act was first passed in 1976. With it, the EPA was supposed to ensure the safety of chemicals, from their origin to their disposal. 

Illinois Republican John Shimkus says the 1976 law is a failure with built-in weaknesses and unnecessary complexities. 

“But we also want to make sure that emotions don’t run rampant and trump science in that someone says a chemical’s bad when it’s really not,” Shimkus said.

His bill to change that has bipartisan support.        

“The thing that unifies most members in Congress on this bill is that the law, as currently written and trying to be complied with, is a failure,” Shimkus said.

Under his bill, companies could pay the EPA to speed up the determination of whether a chemical is safe or dangerous. One provision in the bill allows a private company to help pay for a review of a chemical it wants to use.