The head of the American Chemical Council and a large majority of Republican legislators have supported a bill updating the Toxic Substances Control Act. President Obama has supported TSCA reform and is expected to sign the bill into law. As amended, TSCA gives the EPA authority to regulate untested chemicals and sets deadlines for government action. The new US law will put the burden of human safety tests on the EPA, as compared to EU regulations which require firms in the chemical industry to test and affirm the safety of their products. Fiscal year 2017 appropriations proposed by leaders in the US House of Representatives reduce EPA funding below current levels to an amount 21% less than that requested by the White House. Currently the EPA employs fewer staff than at any time since 1989. Some environmental organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group, have criticized the new legislation. If signed by the president the updated TSCA will supersede state regulations passed in the last 40 years, as well as limiting EPA regulation of chemicals in imported products.
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