Rep. Shimkus' Draft Bill Grants Immunity to the Chemical Industry for Poisoning Americans with Dangerous Toxins

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For Immediate Release: February 28, 2014

Contact: Sarah Jones
202-965-3500, ext. 9582
media.replies@justice.org

Rep. Shimkus' Draft Bill Grants Immunity to the Chemical Industry for Poisoning Americans with Dangerous Toxins

Washington, DC— The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc on Rep. John Shimkus’ (R-IL) draft Chemicals in Commerce Act:

“Far too often the lives of American families are dangerously impacted by chemicals in our drinking water, children’s toys and consumer products. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) must be reformed to effectively protect the public, but Rep. Shimkus' draft bill doesn't come close as it eviscerates public health safeguards, preempts state law and grants immunity to the chemical industry.”
 
“The draft bill completely disregards known concerns of advocates for public health, the environment, consumers and states' rights. Instead, Rep. Shimkus’ bill allows the chemical industry to control the science the EPA uses to regulate chemicals, preempts states from taking action on dangerous toxins, and all the while ensures that chemical manufacturers cannot be held accountable in the civil justice system.”
 
“The end result is that Rep. Shimkus' draft bill only benefits corporations responsible for poisoning and killing Americans and places the health and safety of American families at risk.”
 
"Congress must prioritize the health and safety of Americans by passing meaningful and effective TSCA reform, not granting a handout to the chemical industry." 

How Rep. Shimkus' Draft Bill Immunizes the Chemical Industry
If enacted, Rep. Shimkus’ draft bill would:

  • Prevent state legislators from enacting new regulation to protect their residents;
  • Bar state attorneys general from enforcing state statutes;
  • Eliminate the rights of Americans to file civil lawsuits related to chemical spills;
  • Grandfather in 62,000 chemicals whose safety has never been tested;
  • Require the EPA to rely solely on industry information to determine the safety of new chemicals;
  • Preserve the same inadequate safety standard used in current law.
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