TSCA: From Inception to Reform, a Public Dialogue
On March 3, The Center's Environmental History and Policy program organized “TSCA: From Inception to Reform, a Public Dialogue” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. The event stemmed from the TSCA Oral History project’s goal of bringing the history of the Toxic Substances Control Act to a diverse audience engaged with current reform efforts. Five of the project’s interviewees came together for a candid discussion about the lessons they learned during the process with an audience that spanned EPA staff, lawyers, and representatives and advocates from the environmental health and industrial communities.
While previous events have featured me (and my colleague Jessica Schifano) describing our research and some of our initial findings, this event brought James V. Aidala, Charles M. Auer, Charles L. Elkins, Mark A. Greenwood, and Glenn E. Schweitzer to the stage to discuss their personal experiences with the statute during their time at EPA and to reflect on their successes and failures in regard to those experiences.
Three ideas continue to shape our focus for the TSCA Oral History project. As I stated in my introduction at the event, the project philosophy intends that: the interviews we conduct bring new ideas to the reform process, we compile a piece of institutional memory of the EPA that otherwise might be lost, and through the collecting of this contemporary history, spanning four decades and counting, we are creating a unique resource that provides a new perspective on the continuing evolution of environmental governance in the United States.