States fear losing power to regulate chemicals

AP News
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Posted: Apr 29, 2014 1:14 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to create national standards for regulating chemicals has generated opposition from some states. They fear the bill would curtail their authority to take action against chemicals they consider harmful.

Massachusetts state Sen. Michael Moore called the draft legislation a "breach of state sovereignty," and argued it would leave people more susceptible to increased harm from toxic chemicals. Moore, speaking on behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures, made the comments at a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Republicans who crafted the bill argue it's necessary to create a standard where each chemical is treated under one set of rules, rather than a "patchwork" of different state regulations.

The hearing comes a few months after a major chemical spill in West Virginia, although that was not the focus Tuesday.