Toxic Substances Control Act

Preliminary Observations on Legislative Changes to Make TSCA More Effective Gao ID: T-RCED-94-263 July 13, 1994

The Toxic Substances Control Act's legal standards for taking regulatory action are so high that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been discouraged from regulating chemicals and has given implementation of the act a low priority. Furthermore, EPA has interpreted that act so that it gives preferences to using other health and environmental laws that do not have the full ranges of controls offered by the act. Moreover, gaps often exist in the data needed to assess chemicals' risks, and obtaining the needed data places a heavy burden on EPA. Industry claims that most of the data collected are confidential, limiting its dissemination and usefulness to federal and state organizations with health and safety responsibilities. This testimony focuses on legislative changes to improve EPA's implementation of the act.

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