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Text of the Children’s Environmental Protection Act

This bill was introduced on May 9, 2001, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 9, 2001 (Introduced).

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S 855 IS

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 855

To protect children and other vulnerable subpopulations from exposure to environmental pollutants, to protect children from exposure to pesticides in schools, and to provide parents with information concerning toxic chemicals that pose risks to children, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 9, 2001

Mrs. BOXER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


A BILL

To protect children and other vulnerable subpopulations from exposure to environmental pollutants, to protect children from exposure to pesticides in schools, and to provide parents with information concerning toxic chemicals that pose risks to children, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Children’s Environmental Protection Act.’

SEC. 2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLE SUBPOPULATIONS.

    The Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et. seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘TITLE V--ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLE SUBPOPULATIONS

‘SEC. 501. FINDINGS AND POLICY.

    ‘(a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

      ‘(1) the protection of public health and safety depends on individuals and government officials being aware of the pollution dangers that exist in their homes, schools, and communities, and whether those dangers present special threats to the health of children and other vulnerable subpopulations;

      ‘(2) children spend much of their young lives in schools and day care centers, and may face significant exposure to pesticides and other environmental pollutants in those locations;

      ‘(3) the metabolism, physiology, and diet of children, and exposure patterns of children to environmental pollutants differ from those of adults and can make children more susceptible than adults to the harmful effects of environmental pollutants;

      ‘(4) a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences that particularly considered the effects of pesticides on children concluded that current approaches to assessing pesticide risks typically do not consider risks to children and, as a result, current standards and tolerances often fail to adequately protect children;

      ‘(5) there are often insufficient data to enable the Administrator, when establishing a environmental and public health standard for an environmental pollutant, to evaluate the special susceptibility or exposure of children to environmental pollutants;

      ‘(6) when data are lacking to evaluate the special susceptibility or exposure of children to an environmental pollutant, the Administrator generally does not presume that the environmental pollutant presents a special risk to children and generally does not apply a special or additional margin of safety to protect the health of children in establishing an environmental or public health standard for that pollutant; and

      ‘(7) safeguarding children from environmental pollutants requires the systematic collection of data concerning the special susceptibility and exposure of children to those pollutants, and the adoption of an additional safety factor of at least 10-fold in the establishment of environmental and public health standards where reliable data are not available.

    ‘(b) POLICY- It is the policy of the United States that--

      ‘(1) the public has the right to be informed about the pollution dangers to which children are being exposed in their homes, schools and communities, and how those dangers may present special health threats to children and other vulnerable subpopulations;

      ‘(2) each environmental and public health standard for an environmental pollutant established by the Administrator must, with an adequate margin of safety, protect children and other vulnerable subpopulations;

      ‘(3) where data sufficient to evaluate the special susceptibility and exposure of children (including exposure in utero) to an environmental pollutant are lacking, the Administrator should presume that the environmental pollutant poses a special risk to children and should apply an appropriate additional margin of safety of at least 10-fold in establishing an environmental or public health standard for that environmental pollutant;

      ‘(4) since it is difficult to identify all conceivable risks and address all uncertainties associated with pesticide use, the use of dangerous pesticides in schools and day care centers should be eliminated; and

      ‘(5) the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), the National Institutes of Health, and other Federal agencies should support research on the short-term and long-term health effects of cumulative and synergistic exposures of children and other vulnerable subpopulations to environmental pollutants.

‘SEC. 502. DEFINITIONS.

    ‘In this title:

      ‘(1) CHILD- The term ‘child’ means an individual 18 years of age or younger.

      ‘(2) DAY CARE CENTER- The term ‘day care center’ means a center-based child care provider that is licensed, regulated, or registered under applicable State or local law.

      ‘(3) ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANT- The term ‘environmental pollutant’ includes a hazardous substance subject to regulation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601), a drinking water contaminant subject to regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq), an air pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), a water pollutant subject to regulation under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), and a pesticide subject to regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.).

      ‘(4) PESTICIDE- The term ‘pesticide’ has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136).

      ‘(5) SCHOOL- The term ‘school’ means an elementary school (as defined in section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801)), a secondary school (as defined in section 14101 of that Act), a kindergarten, or a nursery school that is public or receives Federal funding.

      ‘(6) VULNERABLE SUBPOPULATION- The term ‘vulnerable subpopulation’ means children, pregnant women, the elderly, individuals with a history of serious illness, and other subpopulations identified by the Administrator as being likely to experience special health risks from environmental pollutants.

‘SEC. 503. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLE SUBPOPULATIONS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- The Administrator shall--

      ‘(1) ensure that each environmental and public health standard for an environmental pollutant protects children and other vulnerable subpopulations with an adequate margin of safety;

      ‘(2) explicitly evaluate data concerning the special susceptibility and exposure of children to any environmental pollutant for which an environmental or public health standard is established; and

      ‘(3) adopt an additional margin of safety of at least 10-fold in the establishment of an environmental or public health standard for an environmental pollutant in the absence of reliable data on toxicity and exposure of the child to an environmental pollutant or if there is a lack of reliable data on the susceptibility of the child to an environmental pollutant for which the environmental and public health standard is being established.

    ‘(b) ESTABLISHING, MODIFYING, OR REEVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH STANDARDS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- In establishing, modifying, or reevaluating any environmental or public health standard for an environmental pollutant under any law administered by the Administrator, the Administrator shall take into consideration available information concerning--

        ‘(A) all routes of children’s exposure to that environmental pollutant;

        ‘(B) the special susceptibility of children to the environmental pollutant, including neurological differences between children and adults, the effect of in utero exposure to that environmental pollutant, and the cumulative effect on a child of exposure to that environmental pollutant and other substances having a common mechanism of toxicity.

      ‘(2) ADDITIONAL SAFETY MARGIN- If any of the data described in paragraph (1) are not available, the Administrator shall, in completing a risk assessment, risk characterization, or other assessment of risk underlying an environmental or public health standard, adopt an additional margin of safety of at least 10-fold to take into account potential pre-natal and post-natal toxicity of an environmental pollutant, and the completeness of data concerning the exposure and toxicity of an environmental pollutant to children.

    ‘(c) IDENTIFICATION AND REVISION OF CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH STANDARDS THAT PRESENT SPECIAL RISKS TO CHILDREN-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this title and annually thereafter, based on the recommendations of the Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee established under section 507, the Administrator shall--

        ‘(A) repromulgate, in accordance with this section, at least 3 of the environmental and public health standards identified by the Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee as posing a special risk to children; or

        ‘(B) publish a finding in the Federal Register that provides the Administrator’s basis for declining to repromulgate at least 3 of the environmental and public health standards identified by the Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee as posing a special risk to children.

      ‘(2) DETERMINATION BY ADMINISTRATOR- If the Administrator makes the finding described in paragraph (1)(B), the Administrator shall repromulgate in accordance with this section at least 3 environmental and public health standards determined to pose a greater risk to children’s health than the environmental and public health standards identified by the Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee.

      ‘(3) REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this title and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall submit a report to Congress describing the progress made by the Administrator in carrying out this subsection.

‘SEC. 504. PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES IN SCHOOLS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- Each school and day care center that receives Federal funding shall--

      ‘(1) take steps to reduce the exposure of children to pesticides on school grounds, both indoors and outdoors; and

      ‘(2) provide parents with advance notification of any pesticide application on school grounds in accordance with subsection (b).

    ‘(b) LEAST TOXIC PEST CONTROL STRATEGY-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Administrator shall distribute to each school and day care center the current manual of the Environmental Protection Agency that guides schools and day care centers in the establishment of a least toxic pest control strategy.

      ‘(2) LIST- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall provide each school and day care center with a list of pesticides that contain a substance that the Administrator has identified as a known or probable carcinogen, a developmental or reproductive toxin, a category I or II acute nerve toxin, or a known or suspected endocrine disrupter as identified by the endocrine disrupter screening program of the Environmental Protection Agency.

      ‘(3) PROHIBITION OF PESTICIDE APPLICATION- Effective beginning on the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, any school or day care center that receives Federal funding shall not apply any pesticide described in paragraph (2), either indoors or outdoors.

      ‘(4) EMERGENCY EXEMPTION-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- An administrator of a school or day care center may suspend the prohibition under paragraph (3) for a period of not more than 14 days if the administrator determines that a pest control emergency poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of the school or day care center community.

        ‘(B) NOTICE-

          ‘(i) IN GENERAL- Prior to exercising the authority under this paragraph, an administrator shall give notice to the board of the school or day care center of the reasons for finding that a pest control emergency exists.

          ‘(ii) ACTION TAKEN- An administrator that exercises the authority under subparagraph (A) shall report any action taken by personnel or outside contractors in response to the pest control emergency to the board of the school or day care center at the next scheduled meeting of the board.

    ‘(c) PARENTAL NOTICE PRIOR TO ANY PESTICIDE APPLICATION-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- An administrator of the school or day care center shall provide written notice to parents not later than 72 hours before any indoor or outdoor pesticide application on the grounds of the school or day care center.

      ‘(2) CONTENTS OF NOTICE- A notice under this subsection shall include a description of the intended area of application and the name of each pesticide to be applied.

      ‘(3) FORM- A pesticide notice under this subsection may be incorporated into any notice that is being sent to parents at the time the pesticide notice is required to be sent.

      ‘(4) WARNING SIGN-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- An administrator of a school or day care center shall post at any area in the area of the school or day care center where a pesticide is to be applied a warning sign that is consistent with the label of the pesticide and prominently displays the term ‘warning’, ‘danger’, or ‘poison’.

        ‘(B) PERIOD OF DISPLAY- During the period that begins not less than 24 hours before the application of a pesticide and ends not less than 72 hours after the application, a sign under this subparagraph shall be displayed in a location where it is visible to all individuals entering the area.

‘SEC. 505. SAFER ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this title, the Administrator shall--

      ‘(1) identify environmental pollutants commonly used or found in areas that are reasonably accessible to children;

      ‘(2) create a scientifically peer reviewed list of substances identified under paragraph (1) with known, likely, or suspected health risks to children;

      ‘(3) create a scientifically peer reviewed list of safer-for-children substances and products recommended by the Administrator for use in areas that are reasonably accessible to children that, when applied as recommended by the manufacturer, will minimize potential risks to children from exposure to environmental pollutants;

      ‘(4) establish guidelines to help reduce and eliminate exposure of children to environmental pollutants in areas reasonably accessible to children, including advice on how to establish an integrated pest management program;

      ‘(5) create a family right-to-know information kit that includes a summary of helpful information and guidance to families, such as the information created under paragraph (3), the guidelines established under paragraph (4), information on the potential health effects of environmental pollutants, practical suggestions on how parents may reduce their children’s exposure to environmental pollutants, and other relevant information, as determined by the Administrator in cooperation with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

      ‘(6) make all information created pursuant to this subsection available to Federal and State agencies, the public, and on the Internet; and

      ‘(7) review and update the lists created under paragraphs (2) and (3) at least once each year.’.

SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL REPORTING OF TOXIC CHEMICAL RELEASES THAT AFFECT CHILDREN.

    Section 313(f)(1) of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11023(f)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(C) CHILDREN’S HEALTH-

          ‘(i) IN GENERAL- With respect to each of the toxic chemicals described in clause (ii) that are released from a facility, the amount described in clause (iii).

          ‘(ii) CHEMICALS- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Administrator shall identify each toxic chemical that the Administrator determines may present a significant risk to children’s health or the environment due to the potential of that chemical to bioaccumulate, disrupt endocrine systems, remain in the environment, or other characteristics, including--

            ‘(I) any chemical or group of chemicals that persists in any environmental medium for at least 60 days (as defined by half life) or that have bioaccumulation or bioconcentration factors greater than 1,000;

            ‘(II) any chemical or group of chemicals that, despite a failure to meet the specific persistence or bioaccumulation measuring criteria described in subclause (I), can be reasonably expected to degrade into a substance meeting those criteria; and

            ‘(III) lead, mercury, dioxin, cadmium, and chromium and pollutants that are bioaccumulative chemicals of concern listed in subparagraph (A) of table 6 of the tables to part 132 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.

          ‘(iii) THRESHOLD- The Administrator shall establish a threshold for each toxic chemical described in clause (ii) at a level that shall ensure reporting for at least 80 percent of the aggregate of all releases of the chemical from facilities that--

            ‘(I) have 10 or more full-time employees; and

            ‘(II) are in Standard Industrial Classification Codes 20 through 39 or in the Standard Industrial Classification Codes under subsection (b)(1)(B).

          ‘(iv) ADDITIONAL FACILITIES- If the Administrator determines that a facility other than a facility described in clause (iii) contributes substantially to total releases of toxic chemicals described in clause (ii), the Administrator shall require that facility to comply with clause (iii).’.

SEC. 4. RESEARCH TO IMPROVE INFORMATION ON THE EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS ON CHILDREN.

    The Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) (as amended by section 2) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 506. RESEARCH TO IMPROVE INFORMATION ON THE EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS ON CHILDREN.

    ‘(a) EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY DATA- The Administrator, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall coordinate and support the development and implementation of basic and applied research initiatives to examine the health effects and toxicity of pesticides (including active and inert ingredients) and other environmental pollutants on children and other vulnerable subpopulations, and the exposure of children and vulnerable subpopulations to environmental pollutants.

    ‘(b) BIENNIAL REPORTS- The Administrator, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit biennial reports to Congress describing actions taken to carry out this section.’.

SEC. 5. CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROTECTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    The Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) (as amended by section 4) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 507. CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROTECTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    ‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Administrator shall establish a Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee to assist the Administrator in carrying out this title.

    ‘(b) COMPOSITION- The Committee shall be comprised of medical professionals specializing in pediatric health, educators, representatives of community groups, representatives of environmental and public health nonprofit organizations, industry representatives, and State environmental and public health department representatives.

    ‘(c) DUTIES- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this title and annually thereafter, the Committee shall develop a list of standards that merit reevaluation by the Administrator in order to better protect children’s health.

    ‘(d) TERMINATION- The Committee shall terminate not later than 15 years after the date on which the Committee is established.

‘SEC. 508. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this title.’.