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States Consider 51 Bills to Restrict Chemicals in 2017

So far in the 2017 legislative cycle, 16 state legislatures are considering 51 bills seeking to restrict or otherwise regulate chemicals, just 8 months after sweeping changes to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) were signed into law on June 22, 2016. Many of these new state bills follow recurring themes from 2016, while others signal new trends.  Download the attached chart providing details regarding active state bills in the 2017 legislative cycle.

Restricting or prohibiting the use of certain flame retardants is still a hot topic; 11 states are thus far considering or have considered flame retardant bills. Like similar bills proposed in 2016, many of these proposals target upholstered furniture and children’s products. 

In Mississippi, New York, and New Jersey, legislators have proposed a range of bills that would prohibit certain uses of bisphenol A, phthalates, and mercury and other heavy metals in children’s items, demonstrating continued interest in restricting chemicals of concern in children’s products. In all, 13 states are considering or have considered bills that target children’s products in some form.  Among other trends, bills in 6 states are targeting personal care and consumer products, and bills in 4 states focus on mercury and other heavy metals. 

States continue to consider a wide range of approaches and tools to address chemicals at the state level, from outright prohibitions and phase-outs to mandatory disclosure, labeling, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements, and compulsory product stewardship take-back programs. A few states are even considering more comprehensive chemicals management programs that mirror certain aspects of the amended TSCA.  For example, a bill in Massachusetts would require state authorities to publish a list of commonly used chemical substances, designate certain chemicals from the list as priority substances every year, prepare assessment reports for these substances, and promulgate action plans to manage such chemicals and identify safer alternatives.  This process resembles the new section 6 prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management process under TSCA. 

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency implements TSCA reform, state legislatures continue to consider state-level actions to regulate chemicals. Therefore, industry should continue to monitor the latest development of state chemical regulation proposals.

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC


About this Author

Mark Duvali, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge Diamond PC

Mark Duvall has over two decades of experience working in-house at large chemical companies.  His focus at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has been on product regulation at the federal, state, and international levels across a wide range of programs, and occupational safety and health.  He co-chairs the Firm's Chemicals, Products, and Nanotechnology practice group. 

He heads the Firm’s Toxic and Harmful Substances/Toxic Substances Control Act practice.  His experience under TSCA includes enforcement actions, counseling, rulemaking, advocacy, and legislative actions.  He chairs the...

Timothy M. Serie, Beveridge Diamond, Chemical Product Litigation Lawyer, Compliance Counseling Attorney

Tim Serie focuses his practice on chemical, product, and environmental regulatory matters and litigation.  Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, Tim served for four years as counsel at the American Coatings Association (ACA). Highlights of his career with ACA include:

  • Regulatory Advocacy. Representing the paint and coatings industry in the administrative rulemaking process and with respect to agency actions such as: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Definition of Solid Waste rule, the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s coatings volatile organic compounds (VOC) regulations, California’s Safer Consumer Products regulations, Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA's) 2012 Hazard Communication Standard, and Health Canada’s Hazardous Products Regulations; Drafting legal and technical comments on proposed regulations and developing the administrative record for future potential challenges.

(202) 789-6029
Shengzi Wang, Beveridge Diamond Law Firm, Environmental Law Attorney

Shengzhi Wang maintains a general environmental litigation and regulatory practice, working with clients nationwide across industrial sectors. Shengzhi joined the Firm following his graduation from Vermont Law School. 

While at Vermont Law School, Shengzhi served as Technology Editor of Vermont Law Review and as student clinician in the law school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.  In his final semester at law school, Shengzhi worked as a full-time judicial intern to Judge Paul L. Friedman at the United States...