Sanders pans chemical safety reform deal

Sanders pans chemical safety reform deal
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Presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel MORE slammed the compromise chemical safety bill unveiled Friday, saying it does too much to prevent states from regulating dangerous substances.

The Vermont senator's position stands in contrast to a wide range of his colleagues in the upper chamber, even some of the most liberal, who supported the bill to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Sanders, who is behind Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE in the race to be Democratic Party’s nominee, said he agrees with his colleagues that the TSCA is ineffective and needs updating.

“While this legislation allows Vermont to continue enforcing existing state regulations to keep adults and children safe from toxic chemicals such as [perfluorooctanoic acid], it makes it more difficult for states to set new, stricter standards. That makes no sense,” he said in a statement shortly after the compromise legislation was unveiled.

“Federal chemical regulations should be a floor, not a ceiling,” Sanders said. “States should not be stopped from going above and beyond minimum federal safety standards.”

The bill, which still must go through the House and Senate and get President Obama’s signature, gives the Environmental Protection Agency new authority to review and regulate thousands of chemicals, but it also greatly limits states’ ability to put in place their own chemical rules.

The preemption of state authority was a key sticking point for Democrats in negotiating toward the legislation. The Democrats successfully changed the bill enough so that Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGOP senator announces bill to block companies from tracking online activity Trump faces criticism for hosting Hungary's leader Bill Nye tees off on climate change skeptics: 'The planet is on f---ing fire!' MORE (D-Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Dems request investigation of lobbyist-turned-EPA employee who met with former boss This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination MORE (D-Ore.) and other liberals joined in to support it.

Sanders’s opinion aligns with that of the top environmental regulator in Vermont and in five other states, who pushed lawmakers Thursday night to give states more authority.

Sanders sits on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, and joined four of his colleagues last April in voted against a previous version of the chemical bill.