Thursday, September 21, 2017

Vt. attorney general joins protest against Udall-Vitter toxic chemicals bill

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell | Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell

Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell recently joined eight other state attorneys general in writing letters to bipartisan Senate leadership about their disapproval of the Udall-Vitter toxic chemicals bill.

Addressed to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), EPW chairman, the letter specifically expressed concern over the bill’s planned reduction of state’s rights.

"First, the proposed framework to preempt state laws could create a significant void in the regulation of toxic chemicals,” the letter said. “Second, the proposed prohibition on state enforcement of federal rules unnecessarily limits the states' ability to complement and assist the federal government's work in protecting the public and the environment. Last, the proposed revisions jeopardize the states' ability to address toxic chemicals, an ability that the current (Toxic Substances Control Act) regulatory system has afforded."

The bill, which would update the Toxic Substances Control Act, was introduced by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-La.). It would fill some gaps, but has come under fire due to its potential to make it harder for states to self-regulate dangerous chemicals.

Attorneys general from California, New York, Massachusetts, Iowa, Maine, Maryland Oregon and Washington had already sent letters about the bill, which Boxer released at a chemical safety hearing on March 18.

Organizations in this story

State of Vermont Office of the Attorney General 109 State St Montpelier, VT - 05602

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