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May 24, 2012 | Jeanie Sablatura

St. David's Draws Support for Safe Chemicals Act

By gathering more than 60 signatures, St. David’s Episcopal Church has joined numerous other religious organizations across the country in support of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.  The Act is currently being considered by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and the interfaith petition in support of it calls for the Committee to vote this bill onto the Senate floor.


Toxic chemicals currently create serious health threats to human health and eco-systems.  The communities at greatest risk are the poor communities closest to many of our nation’s chemical plants, the workers in these plants, children, the elderly and pregnant women.


The Toxic Chemicals Act of 1976 (TSCA), the federal law which governs the regulation of toxic chemicals in the U.S., has not been amended since its adoption. Since 1976, there have been major changes in chemical technology. Scientists now recognize that many common chemicals cause harm to people and the environment. Supporters of the interfaith petition believe that federal legislation should address these concerns and protect human health and the environment from toxic harm.


The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, introduced by Sen. Frank  Lautenberg (D-NJ), would: ensure the EPA has information on the health risks of all chemicals; require the EPA to prioritize chemicals based on risk; reduce risk from the most dangerous chemicals; authorize the EPA to further evaluate chemicals that could pose unacceptable risk; provide public access to extensive information about chemicals; and promote green chemistry and safer alternatives to chemicals of concern.


St. David’s joins numerous other religious organizations in support of an Interfaith Statement for Chemical Policy Reform drafted by the organization GreenFaith.  St. David’s is near the end of its pursuit of a two-year environmental certification process for houses of worship through GreenFaith, which not only involves greening the facilities and operations, but also includes educating parishioners and participating with the Austin community on projects related to stewardship of the Earth’s resources and environmental justice. For more information about GreenFaith and the GreenFaith Certification Program, visit