Toxic “Reform” Law Will Gut State Rules on Dangerous Chemicals – The Intercept

I hope Washington State Representative Kevin Van de Wege is watching this and putting in his two cents to President Obama to veto this pending law. Kevin and many others throughout the State have fought very hard to bring laws to the books to reduce the use and proliferation of fire retardants and other chemicals proven to be ineffective in their jobs and dangerous to the environment. Now, the Republican dominated US Congress is set to forward onto the President an extremely bad reform bill that actually reforms our ability to challenge Federal management of these chemicals. Want to do something about it? Call or write Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Representative Derek Kilmer and President Obama and state that the Toxic Reform Bill is flawed law.

A NEW SET OF BILLS that aims to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act may nullify the efforts of states such as Maine  and California to regulate dangerous chemicals. The Senate’s bill, passed last month, just before the holidays, is particularly restrictive. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act — named, ironically, for the New Jersey senator who supported strong environmental protections — would make it much harder for states to regulate chemicals after the EPA has evaluated them, and would even prohibit states from acting while the federal agency is in the process of investigating certain chemicals.

The Senate’s version has some significant differences from the House bill — the TSCA Modernization Act, which passed in June — and the reconciliation process is now underway. If the worst provisions from both bills wind up in the final law, which could reach the president’s desk as soon as February, the new legislation will gut laws that have put Oregon, California, Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, and Washington state at the forefront of chemical regulation.

Thanks to the Intercept, one of my favorite news websites, for bringing this to our attention.

Bad Farm Bill contains repeal of NEPA

On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the Farm Bill that, among many detrimental provisions, includes language that would be disastrous for all national Forests: Section 8204 “Insects and Disease Infestation”—a deceptive title. (You can read about it by clicking here and scrolling to pages 701 and 703.)

This section of the Farm Bill would repeal the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to allow logging projects up to 3,000 acres in size to be implemented on National Forests without any environmental analysis of harmful effects to water quality, wildlife or rare, threatened or endangered species.

It would also eliminate administrative appeals on these projects, eliminating public participation in these forest management decisions.

The U.S. Senate may vote on the Farm Bill as early as this week—the first week of February!

Act now and urge your Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to strike Section 8204 from the 2014 Farm Bill because of the harm that Section 8204 would cause to our National Forests. If Section 8204 is not removed, urge them to vote against the 2014 Farm Bill.

Call the capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121.

Or email our senators NOW by using their contact forms on their websites:


Patty Murray and Norm Dicks here to discuss Wild Olympics Wilderness Proposal

Today, Thursday, August 16th, 2012, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks (D, WA-06) will travel to the Olympic Peninsula to discuss the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012, a compromise proposal developed after nearly three years of engagement with local citizens and business leaders. This legislation would protect several key forest areas and rivers while preserving local jobs and access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks will be joined by local representatives and the Chair of the Wild Olympics Campaign. Following the stop at Taylor Shellfish, Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks will tour sites in the proposal.

WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Congressman Norm Dicks
Steve Tharinger, State Representative, 24th LD
John Austin, Jefferson County Commissioner
Mike Doherty, Clallam County Commissioner
Connie Gallant, Chairwoman, Wild Olympics Campaign
Michelle Sandoval, Former Mayor of Port Townsend

WHAT: Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks will talk about their continued work protecting and preserving the Wild Olympics

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