Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0060
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Full Text of HR0060  97th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Children and the developing fetus are uniquely
3vulnerable to the health threats of toxic chemicals, and
4early-life chemical exposures have been linked to chronic
5disease later in life; and
6    WHEREAS, A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific
7evidence links exposure to toxic chemicals to many diseases and
8health conditions that are rising in incidence, including
9childhood cancers, prostate cancer, breast cancer, learning
10and developmental disabilities, infertility, and obesity; and
11    WHEREAS, The President's Cancer Panel report released in
12May 2010 says "the true burden of environmentally induced
13cancers has been grossly underestimated", and the panel advised
14the President "to use the power of your office to remove the
15carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that
16needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation's
17productivity, and devastate American lives"; and
18    WHEREAS, Workers in a range of industries are exposed to
19toxic chemicals that pose threats to their health, increasing
20worker absenteeism, worker compensation claims, and healthcare
21costs that burden the economy; and



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1    WHEREAS, A recent national poll found that 78% of likely
2American voters were seriously concerned about the threat to
3children's health from exposure to toxic chemicals in
4day-to-day life; and
5    WHEREAS, States bear an undue burden from toxic chemicals,
6including health care costs and environmental damages,
7disadvantaging businesses that lack information on chemicals
8in their supply chain and increasing demands for state
9regulation; and
10    WHEREAS, The primary governing federal statute, the Toxic
11Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), was intended to
12authorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
13protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals;
15    WHEREAS, When the TSCA was passed, about 62,000 chemicals
16in commerce were grandfathered in without any required testing
17for health and safety hazards or any restrictions on usage; and
18    WHEREAS, In the 35 years since the TSCA passed, the EPA has
19required chemical companies to test only about 200 of those
20chemicals for health hazards and has issued partial
21restrictions on only 5 chemicals; and



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1    WHEREAS, The TSCA has been widely recognized as ineffective
2and obsolete due to legal and procedural hurdles that prevent
3the EPA from taking quick and effective regulatory action to
4protect the public against well-known chemical threats; and
5    WHEREAS, In January 2009, the U.S. General Accounting
6Office (GAO) added the EPA's regulatory program for assessing
7and controlling toxic chemicals to its list of high risk
8government programs that are not working as intended, finding
10        (1) the EPA has been unable to complete assessments
11    even of chemicals of highest concern;
12        (2) the EPA requires additional authority to obtain
13    health and safety information from the chemical industry
14    and to shift more of the burden to chemical companies to
15    demonstrate the safety of their products; and
16        (3) the TSCA does not provide sufficient chemical
17    safety data for public use by consumers, businesses, and
18    workers and fails to create incentives to develop safer
19    alternatives; and
20    WHEREAS, The National Conference of State Legislatures
21unanimously adopted a resolution in July 2009 that articulated
22principles for TSCA reform and called on Congress to act to
23update the law; and



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1    WHEREAS, In August 2010, the Environmental Council of
2States, the national association of state environmental agency
3directors, unanimously adopted a resolution entitled
4"Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act", which endorsed
5specific policy reforms; and
6    WHEREAS, Ten states have come together to launch the
7Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to coordinate state
8chemical information management programs and a coalition of 13
9states issued guiding principles for TSCA reform; and
10    WHEREAS, Seventy-one state laws on chemical safety have
11been enacted and signed into law in 18 states with broad
12bipartisan support over the last 8 years; and
13    WHEREAS, State policy leadership on chemical management,
14although outstanding, cannot substitute for Congressional
15leadership to reform the TSCA, a reform which all parties agree
16is urgently needed; and
17    WHEREAS, The TSCA is the only major federal environmental
18statute that has never been updated or reauthorized; and
19    WHEREAS, Legislation to substantially reform the TSCA was
20introduced during the 109th Congress in 2005, the 110th
21Congress in 2008, and again in the 111th Congress in 2010;



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1therefore, be it
4The House of Representatives of the State of Illinois
5encourages the 112th United States Congress to enact federal
6legislation to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act of
71976 to strengthen chemicals management through policy reforms
9        (1) require chemical manufacturers to prove that all
10    existing and new chemicals are not harmful to human health
11    and provide essential health and safety information on
12    chemicals to inform the market, consumers, and the public;
13        (2) require immediate action to reduce or eliminate the
14    worst chemicals, including persistent, bioaccumulative,
15    and toxic chemicals (PBTs) and other priority toxics to
16    which there is already widespread exposure;
17        (3) preserve the authority of state and tribal
18    governments to operate chemicals management programs that
19    are more protective than the federal government's;
20        (4) establish health safety standards for chemicals
21    that rely on the best available science to protect the most
22    vulnerable among us, such as children and the developing
23    fetus;
24        (5) reward innovation by fast-tracking approval of
25    new, demonstrably safer chemicals and invest in green



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1    chemistry research and workforce development to boost
2    American business and spur jobs, making safer
3    alternatives; and
4        (6) promote environmental justice by developing action
5    plans to reduce disproportionate exposure to toxic
6    chemicals in hot spot communities; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
8presented to each member of the Illinois congressional