Nicely Done, Attorneys General

This month 12 state attorneys general highlighted the importance of state power to regulate toxic chemicals. We thank them for their efforts. 

Congress should soon put the finishing touches on updating a law — the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — designed to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals. There are things to like in the House and Senate TSCA bills, as well as things that must be fixed, such as the language that ties the hands of states that want to protect their citizens from exposure to toxic chemicals.

The best preemption language is of course no preemption language. Let the states be laboratories of democracy. Let them play a leading role in protecting the public from toxic chemicals.

That said, it’s almost certain that the updated TSCA will preempt the states, at least to some extent, and with that in mind, we sincerely thank state Attorneys General Kamala Harris (CA), Tom Miller (IA), Janet Mills (ME), Brian Frosh (MD), Joseph Foster (NH), Peter Kilmartin (RI), Eric Schneiderman (NY), Bob Ferguson (WA), William Sorrell (VT), Doug Chin (HI), Maura Healey (MA), and Ellen Rosenblum (OR) for their efforts to reduce the scope of preemption. 

Here’s the full text of their letter, and below is their conclusion and signatures.




Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America

Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.