Maryland is leading the way.
Maryland has been a leader on toxic chemical protections: Over the past 7 years, Maryland PIRG has helped our state to restrict 6 toxic substances! For example, the dangerous chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) was banned from Maryland baby bottles and sippy cups in 2010. Two years later, the FDA followed suit by imposing a similar ban on the toxic substance – yet another indication of how important state action is in driving federal policies.
We need sensible toxic chemical reform.
The TSCA Modernization Act, or the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which passed both congressional chambers last year but has yet to become law, makes important updates to the way the EPA restricts toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, the new law could also preclude states from taking action on their own to enact chemical protections.
Not all is lost.
There is still time to protect Maryland’s right to restrict toxic chemicals. The reforms are currently being debated by a congressional conference committee, which aims to reconcile differing versions of the bill from the House and the Senate. The bill language can be adjusted in a way that enacts sensible reform at the federal level, while still allowing for state policy-making.
Together, we can create a toxics-free Maryland.
After collecting signatures from our toxics champs in the Maryland General Assembly, we sent an official letter to our congressional delegation, urging them to weigh in on the conference committee proceedings to protect state chemical restrictions. We were joined by Attorney General Brian Frosh, who coauthored a similar letter with 11 other State Attorneys General.
Now that both congressional chambers have returned from recess, we eagerly await the results of the conference committee!