The US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment
and the Economy continued its examination of the Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) with a hearing yesterday on new
chemicals regulation, protecting confidential business
information and general innovation.
The hearing built on the subcommittee's June 13 hearing on TSCA
Title I and focused on two key areas of the law: The regulation
of new chemicals and the protection of proprietary business
"I believe evaluating TSCA sections 5 (new chemicals) and 14
(disclosure of data) is fundamental to judging progress in new
technologies and manufacturing frontiers in our country,
said Subcommittee Vice Chairman Phil Gingrey (R-GA).
"American companies are on the cutting edge of chemical
innovation, and the new chemical structure in TSCA has allowed
us to lead the world. For example, the European Union's new
chemical requirements saw 3,000 new chemicals introduced, while
the United States saw six times as many new chemicals
introduced over the same period in time."
Testifying on behalf of the American Chemistry Council,
Craig Morrison, CEO of Momentive Performance Materials
Holdings, praised sections 5 and 14 of TSCA, urging Congress to
preserve these critical elements of the law.
"These sections provide an important regulatory framework
that protects health and the environment, and allows our
industry's innovative solutions to come to market," Mr.
Morrison said. "It is fair to say that sections 5 and 14 have
been partly responsible for the significant competitive
advantage the business of chemistry has in the US compared to
other countries and regions."
To fulfill its responsibilities under TSCA, the US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires access to
substantial technical information to make scientific and
regulatory determinations. Mr. Morrison and Dr. Len Sauers, a
vice president for Procter and Gamble, both testified that the
EPA must balance the need to protect confidential business
information with the need for access to important health and
"We rely heavily on the protection of confidential business
information afforded by Section 14 of TSCA to remain
competitive in the US and global marketplace," said Dr. Sauers.
"The challenge of a competitive marketplace and of earning the
right to win with consumers incentivizes us to continually
search for more sustainable innovations that meaningfully
improve the lives of our consumers and deliver real
"The EPA cannot do the job we've given them to evaluate new
chemicals for introduction into commerce, or to evaluate new
uses of previously approved chemicals, unless chemical makers
provide the EPA some specific and sensitive information about
how the chemical is made and how its developers expect to use
it," said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
"At the same time, the EPA must be careful to not disclose that
information. Without information protection, there is no
incentive to innovate. Without innovation, the economy can't
grow and we can't create new jobs."