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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Courtney’

Christopher Dodd and Joe Courtney Respond to Lead Based CPSC Act Against Youth Motocross

CPSC

If you are a regular visitor here, or an active member of any online motocross communities, you probably have read about the outcry over the latest CPSC act which essentially outlaws youth motocross across the country.

As part of my fight against this legislation, I sent email correspondence to Connecticut’s Senator Christopher J. Dodd and Representative Joe Courtney. A few weeks after my emails were sent, I was somewhat surprised to receive a response from both politicians. I know many of you are actively fighting this yourself, so I decided to share their responses with the motocross community.

Senator Christopher J. Dodd

Christopher Dodd Supports the Ban on youth Motocross. Photo by sskennel.

Photo by SSkennel.

Dear Mr. Martin:

 
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act. I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue.
 
The responsibilities of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are some of the most critical to our nation. The CPSC is charged with protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of serious injury associated with faulty consumer products. Created by Congress in 1976, the CPSC is responsible for examining more than 15,000 types of goods, and has contributed to a 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the last 30 years. However, public alarm about a series of product recalls, particularly of toys and other products used by children has focused attention on major reforms to the CPSC.
 
As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families, child safety issues are of the utmost importance to me. That is why I am proud to have supported the final passage of H.R. 4040. Signed into law on August 14, 2008, this critical overhaul of the CPSC contains key reforms that will help to protect American consumers.
 
This legislation requires that as of February 10, 2009, products intended for use by children may not be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) of lead, even if they were manufactured prior to that date. Other products may also not be sold after this date if they contain more than 0.1 percent of specific phthalates, which have been determined to cause reproductive development issues in children. You may be interested to know that on January 30, 2009, the CPSC voted to grant a one-year stay of testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products intended for children under 12 years of age. This decision will provide CPSC staff time to finalize and clarify the four proposed rules relating to lead testing. The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010. For further information relating to the stay of testing, the proposed rules, exempt materials, or other issues relating to the administration of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act, please visit the Commission's website at http://www.cpsc.gov. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor the implementation of this law closely, and will continue to support efforts to protect the health and safety of all children.

Thank you again for contacting me. If you would like to stay in touch with me on this and other issues of importance, please visit my website at http://dodd.senate.gov and subscribe to receive my regular e-mail issue alerts. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of assistance you in any way.

 Sincerely,
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD
United States Senator

After reading Dodd’s response, I was slightly disappointed. It is obvious that Dodd openly supported the recent bill. On the other hand, I can see where his point of view is from. The CPSC covers many other types of consumer goods besides motocross bikes and they are responsible for protecting children from lead in mass produced products.

However, I was surprised to see that he did not address the fact that this legislation was much farther reaching than initially anticipated and prevents children from riding motorcycles which contain lead that is never in contact with the child.

Dodd almost failed to defend the outlaw of youth motocross and instead just listed his support of the bill in general. I totally agree that many products imported into our country contain dangerous levels of lead and should be outlawed. Motocross bikes, are not one of these products and Dodd’s failure to address this oversight strikes me as an admittance that the CPSC has gone one step to far with this legislation.

Representative Joe Courtney

Joe Courtney Does Not Supports the Ban on Youth Motocross Bikes

Dear Michael,
 
Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.  I appreciate your comments and having the benefit of your views.
 
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is charged with regulating and enforcing consumer product safety standards, has proven ineffective in its duties. Our nation bore witness to these failings in recent years, with unprecedented numbers of unsafe consumer products being pulled from shelves in  Connecticut and across the nation. The passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA, P.L. 110-314), which was signed into law on August 14, 2008, delivered promise of much needed change to the CPSC and consumer protection standards.  Since passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, the CPSC has been responsible for implementing commonsense applications of the law. 
 
A major provision of the CPSIA established limits on lead content in children's products. Under current law, children's products cannot contain any component that exceeds a lead limit of 600 parts per million (ppm).  In response to these

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restrictions, many ATV manufactures have sent notifications to distributors regarding ATV parts that may exceed the allowable lead limit.  This in turn has impacted ATV businesses as well the availability of children's ATV for purchase. 
 
I understand concerns regarding the application of lead limits restrictions on parts that could, realistically, never cause lead exposure.  Under the CPSIA, the CPSC has the authority and responsibility to establish exclusions of materials or product parts from lead content limits if they will not result in absorption of lead into the body.  I would encourage the CPSC to closely examine ATV parts, including brake components, battery terminals, and other components that could be excluded from lead limits.  I would also encourage the CPSC to use the flexibility granted to them in this legislation to establish commonsense applications of the law and to improve information for those affected by the new requirements. 
 
As the CPSC moves forward with implementing provisions of this law, I will continue to monitor the balance of regulation for both practicality and the goal of consumer protection.  Should you have any additional comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.  For more information on my views on other issues or to see what I have been working on in Congress, please feel free to visit my official website at www.house.gov/courtney and sign up for my e-newsletter.
 

                                                                  Sincerely,
                                                                  
                                                                  JOSEPH COURTNEY
                                                                  Member of Congress

Joe Courtney’s response, on the other hand, was much more reassuring. He addresses the fact that the CPSC has to outlaw unsafe products, but does not fail to mention that motocross bikes and ATV’s are not unsafe and their lead would never realistically come into contact with their youth riders.

I was extremely pleased to read that Joe Courtney has the safety, yet also enjoyment of youths across the country in mind and that he totally understands the impact of this ban.

Joe Courtney's reviews almost exactly reflect mine on this issue: The CPSC must continue to ban unsafe products, but they crucially need to exclude motocross bikes and ATVs in order to preserve the sport we love and the economic ecosystem which is the motocross community.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that not all politicians think alike. Obviously, if they did our democratic system would just not work. As a result, the lead politicians of Connecticut, and undoubtedly other states across the nation have different views on this issue.

For me, Joe Courtney sympathizes with my views while Christopher Dodd apparently does not. Because of this, I will continue to support Joe Courtney in his political ventures. If certain politicians from your state are supporting the review and modification of this latest CPSC act, then you should return the favor and support them in return. This will ensure that they see results from their actions and continue supporting pro motocross legislation.

What Can You Do

Paul Buckley Photos

Photo by Paul Buckley

Even if your politicians agree that HR 4040 is incredibly far reaching and needs to be reviewed, then cannot accomplish the goal of fixing this act alone. They need your help! There are a number of things you can do to help this effort, check them out below!

  • Spread the Word: Do you have a podcast or blog? Are you active on social networks? Leverage this communities to your advantage. Spread the word of this atrociety and make sure that all of your friends are aware of the ban and are helping in the fight.
  • Submit a Letter: The following letter has been prepared by the MIC to be sent to the CPSC in support of the petition and ultimately in support of the removal of this ban. Download CPSC Letter here
  • Sign the Petition: visit http://www.tomself.com/, submit your info and sign the petition.
  • Write to your Congressmen and Senators: Let them know the far reaching affects of this law and the many benefits provided to families by the small powers ports industry.**Thanks to Commenter Joe Roth, I have been made aware of an automatic system to submit a letter to your congressmen and senators which has been set up by the AMA. Check out the AMA’s Rapid Response System right away.**
  • Watch and Spread the Video: Matt Wozney of MXPTV has produced an awesome video regarding the ban. Watch it, spread the link, and embed it on your site. The more people aware of this issue the better.

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