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Chemical safety legislation before U.S. Senate is right for Alaska

  • Author: Rachael Petro
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published January 15, 2014

As an organization that represents businesses and manufacturers in Alaska, the Alaska Chamber supports the bipartisan Chemical Safety Improvement Act. Our nation's chemical laws have not been updated in a generation and it is past time they were updated.

While it was disappointing to read Ms. Immingan's column criticizing the historic, necessary and bipartisan CSIA, it is absolutely true that our nation's chemical laws need to be updated. It is important that consumers in Alaska and across the country can feel confident in the use of chemicals in commerce.

Last year it was encouraging to see 13 Republican and 12 Democrat senators, including Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, co-sponsor legislation that would create a workable, national approach to managing the use of chemicals in products. The draft legislation, CSIA, specifically addresses sensitive subpopulations and makes clear they must be considered in the Environmental Protection Agency's safety assessment process.

It is important to remember that the products of chemistry enable a healthier, safer and more sustainable future for Alaska, creating jobs that support families and communities and enhancing safety for our families and our communities. Much of the energy sector, for example, relies on the products of chemistry to more efficiently conserve energy, enhance production, and reduce energy costs.

The Alaska Chamber supports Sen. Begich and Sen. Murkowski's leadership in supporting CSIA. CSIA is an important step toward giving Alaska families greater assurance that the products we use are safe while ensuring that the U.S. continues to be the world's leading innovator.

Rachael Petro is the President and CEO of the Alaska Chamber.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)

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