Crapo cancer cluster study legislation is part of environmental reform bill
Washington, D.C. - The seven-year effort of an Idaho man to document and track childhood and adultcancer clusters in Idaho and around the nation may be coming to fruition as soon as next week. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo included language from Trevor's Law, named for Trevor Schaefer of Boise, into a Congressional agreement announced today for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill.
Crapo, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, worked with Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-California) to include the Trevor's Law language in the compromise TSCA bill. It may be voted on in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives next week and sent to the President, who is expected to sign it. The Senate previously passed Trevor's Law but the language was not in the original House bill.
"Trevor's Law is a huge step forward in terms of our dealing with cancer in the United States, particularly with cancer clusters," Crapo said. "It is a wonderful thing for Idaho that we have a young man like Trevor who is leading in helping to pass nationally-important legislation in Congress. This will benefit many people."
Trevor's Law calls on the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop criteria to monitor, track and respond to instances of potential cancer clusters in the United States. The legislationcreates a mechanism to study and document where such clusters exist, why they exist, and who they might affect. The law seeks to improve communication and data sharing between local, state and federal governments. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would also be required to track cancer clusters and offer assistance as needed to local residents and government officials.
Trevor Schaefer survived a diagnosis of brain cancer at age 13. He and his mother, Charlie Smith, also of Boise, and Susan Rosser, brought the idea for cancer cluster legislation to Crapo, also a cancer survivor, in 2010. Crapo and Boxer introduced the original bill in 2011 and similar legislation again in 2013, when Trevor joined cancer activist Erin Brockovich and others to testify before the committee in Washington, D.C.
Schaefer said, "I am extremely thrilled about the progress we have made toward the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (TSCA Reform) and Trevor's Law! This bi-partisan legislation is a true testament of how both sides of the aisle can work together for the betterment of the people. For far too long, toxic exposure has been poisoning and killing our children. But now with this historic legislation, we are giving them a voice and providing children and communities with the protection they deserve against harmful substances that contribute to cancer and cancer clusters.
"I would like to recognize the two Senators who originally co-sponsored Trevor's Law: my Senator from the great state of Idaho Mike Crapo, and California Senator Barbara Boxer. I would also like to thank their many colleagues who helped move this bill forward. I want to give a special thanks to Bonnie Lautenberg for her relentless efforts in carrying on Senator Frank R. Lautenberg's legacy; a man who once told me to never give up."
The larger TSCA reform bill is named in honor of the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. The bipartisan agreement brings needed reform to chemical and environmental regulations.