State of South Dakota  


Introduced by:    Senators Adelstein, Fryslie, Lederman, Nygaard, and Rampelberg and Representatives Hunhoff (Bernie), Blake, Elliott, Gibson, Iron Cloud III, Jones, Kirkeby, Kloucek, and Lucas

        A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, In support of reforming the federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
    WHEREAS, children and the developing fetus are uniquely vulnerable to the health threats of toxic chemicals, and early-life chemical exposures have been linked to chronic disease later in life; and
    WHEREAS, a growing body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence links exposure to toxic chemicals to many diseases and health conditions that are rising in incidence, including childhood cancers, prostate cancer, breast cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, infertility, and obesity; and
    WHEREAS, the President's Cancer Panel report released in May 2010 states that "the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated," and the panel advised the President "to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives"; and
    WHEREAS, workers in a range of industries are exposed to toxic chemicals that pose threats to their health, increasing worker absenteeism, worker compensation claims, and health care costs which burden the economy; and
    WHEREAS, a recent national poll found that seventy-eight percent of likely American voters were seriously concerned about the threat to children's health from exposure to toxic chemicals in day-to-day life; and
    WHEREAS, states bear an undue burden from toxic chemicals, including health care costs and environmental damages, disadvantaging businesses who lack information on chemicals in their supply chain and increasing demands for state regulation; and
    WHEREAS, the primary governing federal statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), was intended to authorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals; and
    WHEREAS, when TSCA was passed approximately 62,000 chemicals in commerce were "grandfathered in" without any required testing for health and safety hazards or any restrictions on usage; and
    WHEREAS, in the thirty-five years since TSCA passed, the EPA has required chemical companies to test only two hundred of those chemicals for health hazards and has issued partial restrictions on only five chemicals; and
    WHEREAS, TSCA has been widely recognized as ineffective and obsolete due to legal and procedural hurdles that prevent the EPA from taking quick and effective regulatory action to protect the public against well-known chemical threats; and
    WHEREAS, in January 2009, the U.S. General Accounting Office added the EPA's regulatory program for assessing and controlling toxic chemicals to its list of high risk government programs that are not working as intended, finding that the EPA has been unable

to complete assessments even of chemicals of highest concern. The EPA requires additional authority to obtain health and safety information from the chemical industry and to shift more of the burden to chemical companies to demonstrate the safety of their products, and TSCA does not provide sufficient chemical safety data for public use by consumers, businesses, and workers and fails to create incentives to develop safer alternatives; and

    WHEREAS, the National Conference of State Legislatures unanimously adopted a resolution in July 2009 that articulated principles for TSCA reform and called on Congress to act to update the law; and
    WHEREAS, in August 2010, the Environmental Council of States unanimously adopted a resolution entitled "Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act," which endorses specific policy reforms; and
    WHEREAS, ten states have come together to launch the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to coordinate state chemical information management programs, and a coalition of thirteen states issued guiding principles for TSCA reform; and
    WHEREAS, seventy-one state laws on chemical safety have been enacted and signed into law in eighteen states with broad bipartisan support over the last eight years; and
    WHEREAS, state policy leadership on chemical management, although outstanding, cannot substitute for Congressional leadership to reform TSCA, a reform which all parties agree is urgently needed; and
    WHEREAS, TSCA is the only major federal environmental statute that has never been updated or reauthorized; and
    WHEREAS, legislation to substantially reform TSCA was introduced during the 109th Congress in 2005, the 110th Congress in 2008, and again in the 111th Congress in 2010:
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Eighty-sixth Legislature of

the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature encourages the United States Congress to enact federal legislation to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to strengthen chemicals management through policy reforms.