California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has warned Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act introduced in the Senate May 22 would undermine a California law aimed at protecting the public from toxic chemicals in consumer products.
"We believe that S.1009, as currently drafted, cripples the police powers that California relies on to protect public health and the environment and, in addition, severely compromises California's authority to supplement and complement federal efforts to regulate the safety of chemicals," Special Assistant Attorney General Brian Nelson wrote Boxer yesterday (June 11).
"California has been a leader in enacting laws that protect public health and the environment, and has served as a laboratory for innovation for other states and the federal government," Nelson wrote. "Many of the innovative laws that California has enacted are jeopardized by S. 1009."
"The concerns of the Attorney General over what this legislation could mean for the health of Californians should be a wake-up call for everyone," said Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook. "Every state should have the right to step in and add additional levels of public health protection when federal laws are too weak or nonexistent. If the Chemical Safety Improvement Act becomes law as it's written now, all the work California and other states have done to protect its residents could unravel."