A rare bipartisan compromise endorsed by industry and the White House will give the US government new authority to ensure that chemicals are safe.
What comes next?
After the bill is enacted, the EPA will draw up rules for its new review process, which includes determining the fees that companies will need to pay to submit chemicals for government review. The legislation allows the agency to collect up to US$25 million per year in fees to supplement its budget for chemical regulation, which is intended to cover roughly one-quarter of the total programme cost.
The EPA must also figure out which of the 85,000-odd chemicals in its inventory are still in use. The agency will survey companies that make and use chemicals to revise its list. Once that’s done, agency scientists can go through the list and prioritize those chemicals that merit a safety review.