On June 22, President Obama signed into law the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. This act represents the first major legislation to regulate chemical management in the US since the TSCA was passed 40 years ago. The reforms finally empower the EPA to effectively evaluate and mitigate chemicals heretofore presumed safe simply because they had not been tested. The agency must now also affirm the safety of any new chemical before it can be marketed. The Lautenberg Act raises the importance of chemical management as a function of public trust to the level of the Clean Water Act, with the potential to have the same long-term positive impact on this and future generations of Americans.
The five points that follow explain the scope and effect of these reforms.