Toxics Should we copy Massachusetts?

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 27, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In 1989, Massachusetts passed the Toxic Use Reduction Act (TURA) to create a program to force reduction in the use of toxic chemicals. Each large quantity user is required to provide a detailed annual report for each toxic or hazardous substance manufactured, processed or used at a facility above listed thresholds.  The report must include a toxics use reduction plan to achieve specified percentage decreases in the use of that chemical within a specified timeline.  In addition, a significant tax is levied on applicable companies to pay for program implementation and operation. The Act created an entire new bureaucracy for implementation, training, certification and an institute aimed at toxics reduction.  Massachusetts is one of a few states that rival California in its anti-business policies. Like California, Massachusetts has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs in recent years.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) is carrying AB 558 to create similar program in California.  It would duplicate current federal, state and local mandatory reports, establish aggressive arbitrary reduction goals, create confidentiality concerns and add costs to the bottom line of Companies. It is based on the premise that all use of these chemicals is inherently bad.  It does not take into consideration the beneficial aspects of a substance’s end use, whether there are actual toxic emissions or public endangerment, or whether there are viable safer alternatives. 

CMTA’s Environmental Quality Committee has taken an Oppose position on this bill and discussions have begun with the author.  For more information, contact CMTA Director of Environmental Policy, Mike Rogge at

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