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ABQ Journal: Udall pushes tighter chemical rules

Udall said the bill he and Vitter support would mandate safety reviews for all chemicals currently on the market, require a safety approval as a condition of entry for new chemicals onto the market, allow the EPA to require testing by issuing orders instead of using a time and resource intensive rule-making process, and eliminate a requirement that the EPA prove risk to high exposures of a chemical before requiring testing.

The legislation would also substantially increase access to chemical information by the public, state governments and medical and health professionals.

Udall said that some states, such as California, have rules for chemical use that are more stringent than existing EPA regulations, but that most, including New Mexico, do not.

“I think if you went out in the street and asked the average New Mexican if government is protecting them from dangerous chemicals, they would answer yes,” he said. “Most states in the country don’t have laws in place. New Mexico has no protection now. Most smaller states are in the same position.”

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