Bipartisan Senate Support for Chemical Safety Overhaul

Democrats and Republicans alike have joined forces on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee led by Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma in announcing a bill aimed at overhauling what they call the “nation’s broken chemical safety law,” the Toxic Substance Control Act.

They call it the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, named after the late Senator. It is considered to be the first successful reform of a major environmental law since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Sens. Inhofe and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said they would stand together to ensure an open amendment process to the Toxic Substance Control act reform legislation to make sure it moves forward, wins Senate approval and is sent to the House.

“There are going to be a lot of amendments,” said Sen. Inhofe in a recent news conference on capitol hill. “Senator Whitehouse and I don’t always agree on everything but for that reason, I really believe that if it is something that he and I are both really interested in and consider it to be a top priority, than I don’t think unfriendly amendments are going to get very far on this.”

The legislation passed out of the committee on a 15-5 vote last month. The Act was introduced by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) and now has 14 co-sponsors.

Listen to comments from Sen. Inhofe during the news conference.

Click here for audio