Congress Passes Idaho Trevor’s Law
Washington, D.C. (PRESS RELEASE) – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has secured final passage of Trevor’s Law, named for Trevor Schaefer of Boise, as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill. The bill, which passed the Senate tonight by unanimous voice vote, now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on May 24, 403-12.
The final vote means that the seven-year effort of Idahoan Trevor Schaefer to document and track childhood and adult cancer clusters in Idaho and around the nation is about to become law. 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 write and include the Trevor’s Law language in the final compromise TSCA bill.
“The passage of Trevor’s Law is a significant milestone in how cancer clusters will be identified, monitored and treated in the United States,” said Crapo. “Every American, directly or indirectly, has been affected in some form by cancer and this legislation is another tool to continue fighting against this disease. Further, the passage of Trevor’s Law is a testament to the determination and commitment of many people – including Trevor Schaefer and his mother, Charlie Smith – in never giving up to turn their plans into a law that will benefit everyone across America.”
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 first 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.
“We originally began working on Trevor’s Law in 2009 with the goal of increasing environmental protection for our children and communities,” said Trevor Schaefer. “We have been very fortunate to have had the pleasure of directly working with two great Senators and their staff on this arduous endeavor, California Senator Barbara Boxer and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. With their tenacity and support, Trevor’s Law found a new home last year when it was attached to the Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (TSCA). I am so pleased to announce that after seven long years of fighting for environmental justice the voices of all of our children and communities have been heard. We will now be able to more effectively and efficiently identify cancer clusters throughout the United States and uncover why such cancer clusters exist. I would like to additionally thank Senators James Inhofe, David Vitter, Tom Udall and all of the other senators, congressmen and women, and their staff members who have worked tirelessly to update this 40 year old TSCA bill. Finally, I would like to express my utmost gratitude for the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, who was a true environmental crusader. Senator Lautenberg once told me to keep fighting the fight and I am honored to have Trevor’s Law included in this historic piece of legislation named after him.”
“My heart is full tonight knowing that this necessary legislation, Trevor’s Law, will help so many children and adults who are part of a cancer cluster but have been unable to get the recognition from local, state and federal government that they deserve,” said Charlie Smith. “I am so proud of my son, Trevor for his brave fight to beat back brain cancer and his unwavering belief that good things can happen in politics. I am also eternally grateful to Senators Boxer and Crapo and their staffs, for their tenacious work to make this law a reality.”