* Obtain information from companies without a protracted rule-making process.
* Have more flexibility to act on chemicals deemed unsafe, ranging from required labeling to outright bans.
But the proposal would also require the agency to find "the least burdensome alternative" to current practice" - a curb the EPA needs.
Cal Dooley of the American Chemistry Council, a former congressman from California, called the proposed Lautenberg-Vitter Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 "a very fair and very balanced proposal" and said chemical companies were prepared to give the EPA more information "in a cost-effective way."
Environmentalists were split, one calling it "the least that could be done," and another calling it "certainly a net improvement over the status quo."
Sixteen senators, half from each party, have crafted a proposal that chemical companies can live with, environmentalists regard as an improvement - and that gives the EPA new tools while also setting limits for its power. This is a real achievement.
Most people want progress on health and the environment - at a price that won't tank the economy.
Manchin helped find that balance, which makes him a significant player in the U.S. Senate.