With the inclusion of the Commission’s amendments, the 2023 Operating Plan moves CPSC further and faster than ever in its mission to protect people from dangerous products.
Being forced to choose among so many priority projects brought into focus just how much critical work this agency does. We reached consensus on pressing consumer safety issues, and it’s a testament to the creative vision flowing from this Commission.
Priority activities now in the Operating Plan reflect my primary goals as Commissioner:
- Eliminating deaths associated with infant products;
- Transforming our work on chronic hazards and toxic chemicals;
- Expanding the reach of our communications, so we can get dangerous products out of homes as quickly as possible;
- Recalibrating our engagement with voluntary standards to make the most productive use of our agency’s most valuable resource: our staff’s time;
- Focusing on equity in product safety;
- Swiftly and meaningfully penalizing bad actors to deter future misconduct; and
- Speeding up rulemakings on high injury products.
My driving purpose as a consumer advocate is to get hidden hazards out of American homes. It is imperative that we devote as much time, energy, and resources as possible to regulating chronic hazards and toxic chemicals. The Commission adopted my amendment to move forward with public input on the hazard posed by gas stoves. And we adopted Commissioner Boyle’s amendment to address PFAS in things like textiles, apparel, and children’s products. We continue to be the global leader in consumer safety, but we have a lot of catching up to do on chemical regulation, so we amended our plan to track international standards so that we can build on them. CPSC will be at the forefront of addressing what I believe are the most dangerous hidden hazards of our time.
We commit to advancing equity in product safety. We are going to collect more injury data from traditionally underserved communities. And as we research racial and gender gaps in product safety, that information will guide our policy priorities.
One of my priorities for CPSC is to swiftly and effectively deter bad actors from selling consumer products that they know are dangerous. We have already increased our use of strong civil penalties. Today and with the adoption of my amendment, the Commission committed to streamlining its process of referring cases to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution where appropriate. My amendment is a warning to the worst corporate offenders. We will not tolerate recklessness when it comes to safety, and we will punish those who would put profit over peoples’ lives.
My amendments also speed rulemaking in several high priority areas. For example, we reached agreement to finalize regulation of the carbon monoxide poisoning risk posed by portable generators. And we are moving faster to address the fire risks of off-highway vehicles like side-by-sides and ATVs.
I would like to thank our hardworking staff for maximizing every dollar and hour to take care of American consumers. I am grateful for the collaboration of my fellow Commissioners. 2023 will be a very good year for safety.