Sanders pans chemical safety reform deal

Sanders pans chemical safety reform deal
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Presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead 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 ClintonMore than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls Trump is threatening to boycott the debates — here's how to make sure he shows up Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor 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 BoxerHillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyUS must act as journalists continue to be jailed in record numbers Warren proposes 'Blue New Deal' to protect oceans There's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down MORE (D-Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre 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.