Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements [Updated November 18, 2008]   [open pdf - 125KB]

"This report summarizes the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the major regulatory programs dealing with chemical production and distribution in U.S. commerce. The text is excerpted, with minor modifications, from the corresponding chapter of CRS Report RL30798, Environmental Laws: Summaries of Statutes Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which summarizes more than a dozen environmental statutes. [...]. The President's Council on Environmental Quality proposed comprehensive federal legislation in 1971 to identify and control potentially dangerous chemicals in U.S. commerce that were not adequately regulated under other environmental statutes. President Ford signed TSCA into law on October 11, 1976. Subsequently, four titles were added to address specific concerns -- asbestos in 1986 (Title II, P.L. 99-519), radon in 1988 (Title III, P.L. 100-551), lead in 1992 (Title IV, P.L. 102- 550), and, in 2007, environmental and energy issues in schools (Title V, P.L. 110- 140). In 2008, Congress added a provision to Title I, Section 6, banning certain activities with respect to elemental mercury. TSCA authorizes EPA to identify potentially dangerous chemicals in U.S. commerce that should be subject to federal control. The act authorizes EPA to gather and disseminate information about production, use, and possible adverse effects to human health and the environment of existing chemicals, and to issue 'test rules' that require manufacturers and processors of potentially dangerous chemicals to conduct and report the results of scientific studies to fill information gaps. For chemicals new to U.S. commerce, TSCA requires pre-market screening and regulatory tracking of new chemical products."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31905
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