Led by Senator Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), the Senate Committee on Economic Development unanimously approved (5-0) the Toxic Free Families Act. The committee heard from Vermont business interests among others, about ways to ensure the legislation protects Vermonters from unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals while maintaining a strong climate to do business.
Vermont business leader, Seventh Generation, testified in support of the legislation and made the case that consumers what and have a right to know what’s in their products. A letter of support signed by dozens of Vermont businesses was presented to the committee as well.
The unanimous support of the Committee on Economic Development demonstrates an understanding by Vermont lawmakers that economic and environmental health can and should go hand-in-hand.
The Toxic-Free Families Act (S.239) has three main components:
- The Vermont Department of Health would establish a list of chemicals of high concern;
- If consumer products sold in Vermont include a listed chemical, then the manufacturer is required to disclose this information to the Department of Health, where it would be made available to the public;
- Lastly, an advisory committee of stakeholders and health department officials will rule on whether to ban or regulate the use of said chemicals in consumer products sold in Vermont.
These are all important and necessary measures needed to protect the health of Vermonters. VPIRG will be working with partners from the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont to pass the bill in 2014. The bill must now make a quick stop in the Senate Finance Committee before being voted on by the full Senate.
To contact your Senator in support of S. 239, click here: http://bit.ly/ToxicFree.