S.103, addressing chemical regulations, was referred last week to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and is unlikely to be taken up before the Legislature adjourns for the year. As reported previously, the House-passed version of this bill includes several provisions that would critically undermine the integrity and credibility of the scientific and health-based criteria for regulating chemicals and children’s products under Act 188, enacted in 2014 (click here for related post). The original Senate-passed version focused on creating an interagency committee and stakeholder advisory committee to review and make recommendations on a wide range of chemical regulations and related issues, which the House version modified by adding two legislators to the committee (click here for links to the two versions of the bill).
With the bill being held over until next year, it remains to be seen how the Legislature will address chemical regulation issues in the next session. It is possible that S.103 will once again become a vehicle for a wide range of proposals, that it will focus on changes to Act 188, or that a number of new bills will be introduced to address separate issues. It is also possible that H.268, the House version of the original S.103 as introduced, could move separately in the House. As reported previously, S.103 and H.268 as introduced addressed a wide range of issues of concern to manufacturers and retailers, including reporting and planning requirements under Vermont’s toxic use reduction program (Act 100), children’s products regulations (Act 188), and several areas of legal liabilities related to chemicals (click here for past post addressing issues with the bills as introduced). In any case, it can be expected that the Administration will proceed this year with an interagency initiative to review existing chemical regulations for potential streamlining, but also modifying an existing program or developing a new one to establish some form of chemical inventory reporting for the state.
Manufacturer Engagement is Critical; AIV Coalition to Continue
With the certainty that significant regulatory and statutory changes will be under consideration and development during the balance of this year and into the next, AIV will be continuing to coordinate Vermont manufacturers and national trade associations in keeping impacted companies informed of developments and working together to engage with both the Administration and the Legislature. We will be building on the successful coalitions we have led during the chemical regulation debates of the past several years, and we strongly encourage all manufacturers and other potentially impacted companies to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to learn more about our coalition activities and options for engagement and updates as unfold.