Saturday, October 25, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 33
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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 19th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 2

Political Watch 3/20/14

• The three products to make the first-ever list of hazardous substances released by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control on March 13 are: polyurethane spray foam with a chemical linked to work-related asthma, children’s foam padded sleeping products that contain a chemical known to cause cancer, and paint and varnish strippers that contain a chemical linked to at least 14 deaths in the United States. It’s a short list that’s by no means complete or final, and it’s just one step in a regulatory process that aims to reduce toxins used in consumer products. A “green chemistry” law passed by California legislators in 2008 laid out the path for encouraging manufacturers to stay away from hazardous substances. According to a fact sheet released by the department, the regulations require a draft list of initial “priority products” by April 28 of this year. A priority product is a consumer product that contains one or more chemicals—known as “candidate chemicals”—that can harm people and the environment. Putting a product on the initial list is just the second step of a four-step process that could lead to a regulatory response. Once the list is adopted into regulations, manufacturers of those products are supposed to notify the toxics department and begin searching for less hazardous alternatives. The Department of Toxic Substances Control will hold three public workshops in May and June 2014 regarding the initial list.

• U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) recently voted against, as did all but five House of Representatives Democrats, a bill dubbed the ENFORCE Act, House of Representatives bill 4138. A press release sent out by Capps’ office called the bill fundamentally flawed and said that instead of addressing immigration reform, it attacks the authority of the president’s executive power. “Instead of focusing on this divisive legislation, it is my hope that Congress can work together on the aspects of comprehensive immigration reform that we agree on,” Capps said in the press release. The bill passed the House 233 to 181. It would authorize each chamber (Senate or House) to file a civil action in a federal court to clarify a federal law. As one of the bill’s co-sponsors, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) sees things, the bill would curb the president’s ability to over-reach his executive powers. “I understand that the executive office has great power, but the constitution doesn’t allow him to run roughshod over it,” Kelly said in a speech on the House floor. Political analysts don’t expect the bill to make any progress in the U.S. Senate.