Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Idahoan Trevor Schaefer, his mother, Charlie Smith, and Susan Rosser of Trevor’s Trek Foundation were all present Wednesday as legislation sponsored by Crapo to document cancer clusters was signed into law at the White House.
“Trevor’s Law,” named for cancer survivor Trevor Schaefer of Boise, was included in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill that was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The signing means that the seven-year effort of Schaefer to document and track childhood and adult cancer clusters in Idaho and around the nation is over -- and now federal 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.
“Today’s bill signing proves again the power of one Idahoan, one American, to bring change that will benefit millions of people who could face cancer one day,” said Crapo, himself a cancer survivor who wrote language in the law. “Trevor’s Law is the first time we as a nation will document how cancer clusters will be identified, monitored and treated in the United States. Not only have we made history, we did it by Idahoans working together from the ground up, from Idaho to Washington, DC, and into law.”
Trevor Schaefer survived a diagnosis of brain cancer at age 13. He and his mother, Charlie Smith, also of Boise, and Susan Rosser of Trevor’s Trek Foundation brought the first cancer cluster legislation to Crapo 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.
“This is the last step to make this law official,” said Trevor. “I am thrilled to finally get this to the finish line. The last step has now been taken to make this law final. Now, I am looking forward to seeing the language in the law gets implemented so that we can help our children and our communities.”
The TSCA legislation that Trevor’s Law was included in will provide increased review of environmental law with regard to chemicals and similar products. The TSCA law marks historic bipartisan agreement in itself. It is named in honor of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg.