People who thought New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg would quietly ease into retirement as he approaches the final two years of his tenure in the U.S. Senate got a big surprise this week. And for backers of long overdue reforms to the nation's outdated chemical laws, we got a big boost from the Senator, our long-time champion.
People who have followed the career of Sen. Lautenberg know he doesn’t make empty pledges. Just ask tobacco lobbyists, who’ve tried to get in his way and took their lumps over the years.(He was the Senator who led the charge to ban smoking on airplanes, for example.)
In announcing he will not run for reelection, the Senator is quoted in the Newark Star Ledger saying he's embarking on a 2-year mission to pass his "Safe Chemicals Act" before he leaves the U.S. Senate.
"I am not announcing the end of anything," he said. "I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey."
The Safe Chemicals Act cleared the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in the last Congress. The bill would modernize the much maligned “Toxic Substances Control Act” (TSCA) and protect Americans from exposure to dangerous toxic chemicals.
Sen. Lautenberg's Safe Chemicals Act seeks to require – for the first time – that chemical manufacturers demonstrate the safety of industrial chemicals used in everyday household products.
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