Politics

Video: Obama Signs Major Overhaul Of Toxic Chemicals Rules Into Law

President Barack Obama has signed into law the first overhaul of toxic chemical rules in 40 years.

President Barack Obama has signed into law the first overhaul of toxic chemical rules in 40 years.

Obama is joined at a White House signing ceremony by lawmakers from both parties who supported the bill. He says for the first time in U.S. history, the country will be able to regulate chemicals effectively.

Obama says bipartisan agreement doesn’t happen often in Washington. He says that makes the law “a really significant piece of business.”

“For nearly a decade, I have worked to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) because it directly affects communities in and around Eastside Houston and Harris County, home to one of the largest collection of chemical facilities in the country,” said U.S. Rep. Gene Green in an emailed statement. “The reforms contained in the new law will enhance protections for the fenceline communities next to the plants and the workers in our chemical plants, and respond to the concerns of industry to provide regulatory certainty for job creators throughout our economy.”

The president is thanking chemical industry groups for supporting the legislation. He says it will especially help people who are more vulnerable to chemicals, including children, pregnant women, the elderly and the poor.

The law standardizes what is currently a jumble of state rules governing the $800 billion-per-year industry.

 

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