The following are updates on the status of key chemical related legislation addressed in recent posts. Links are provided to recent posts with more substantive information. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to discuss options for engaging on these issues directly. Also see this post on the related issue of extended producer responsibility for household products.
S.103, Children’s Products
The Senate passed S.103 last week with only minor changes to the House proposals of amendment to the version originally passed by the Senate last year. The further amendments approved by the Senate change certain effective dates and make changes to make-up of the interagency committee on chemical management to remove legislators from the committee and to add the Agency of Transportation.
The Senate did not make any changes to the harmful revisions to the statutes governing chemicals in children’s products, including undermining scientific and evidentiary standards and check and balances for expanding the scope of chemicals and the banning or other regulation of products.
In a surprise development, the House leadership decided Tuesday morning to “order the bill to lie”, which means postponing floor action indefinitely. It is possible that the House might not vote on whether or not to concur with the latest Senate language until after Town Meeting Week, meaning March 13 at the earliest. It is possible that this move was part of broader posturing between the two chambers or shows an interest in adding new, related legislative language to the bill. In any case, AIV will be coordinating efforts to build opposition to the bill, particularly changes to children’s products statutes, in the coming days. Members should watch for alerts.
S.197, Liabilities for Chemical Releases
The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday reviewed new language for S.197, which would open companies to liability for personal and property damages and medical monitoring costs for a wide range of chemical releases, permitted or unpermitted. The new language represents nominal progress in narrowing the definitions of toxicity and release, but does not appear to fundamentally address the bill’s dangerous flaws. For the interim language, click here.
Further revisions might be available in the coming days, and AIV and others are hoping to testify again on the bill next Wednesday. Members should watch for related alerts.
Also this week the House Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife Committee heard an introduction to a House companion version, H.850, although it is uncertain if there will be action on that version of the bill.