Senate Republicans call on EPA to put controversial chemical assessments on hold

As read on the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Blog:

May 11, 2011

Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov

…”In light of a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report that criticized how U.S. EPA evaluates chemical toxicity levels, two Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have called on the agency to suspend its assessments of all chemicals ‘where serious concerns have been raised.’

In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson yesterday, Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and David Vitter (R-La.) said the NAS review of the agency’s formaldehyde risk assessment raised significant questions about the agency’s methodologies.

‘You have repeatedly stated that ‘sound science’ is the basis for all agency action,’ the senators wrote. ‘This is clearly not the case as the NAS report has shown.’

The senators said ‘several high-profile chemicals that the agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is currently reviewing — including the water contaminant hexavalent chromium and several fuel additives — should be ‘temporarily stopped.’

‘It might be prudent,’ they wrote, ‘to go directly to NAS to have the assessment work completed.’

The Republicans letter echoes concerns from the chemical industry. Last month, the American Chemistry Council sent EPA a letter calling for significant changes to the IRIS process including submitting all risk assessments to NAS for review.

Chemical watchdogs note that submitting all IRIS assessments to NAS would cost the agency millions of dollars. They also say that putting controversial toxicity evaluations on hold would further delay an already lengthy process”

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2 Responses to Senate Republicans call on EPA to put controversial chemical assessments on hold

  1. katy says:

    Linda,

    You’re right. What is interesting is that they have also gone after NIEHS recently for their studies on toxicity and involving formaldahyde (as in FEMA trailers). This time it was the CONGRESSIONAL Republicans. From what I know and can provided direct evidence, this is not just a one party problem in DC. Its a game. The Republicans are the agressors to appease their constituents. The Democrats then voice outrage (to no avail) to appease their constituents. Industry wins and everyone gets their funding to stay in office – while the public gets taken again.

  2. Linda says:

    So they want more time. They have had plenty of time since around 1976. Instead of spending millions paying to lobby against making our products safer, why don’t they give it to the people that have suffered for decades while these hearing just go on and on and nothing changes. The EU Government has figured out how to handle this so should the US. These companies knew what they were putting into a given product and whether it was safe for humans. They choose to make the products anyway becasue no one was watching the hen house. Most people would go to jail for poisoning people, but so many companies have the ability to poison us and make profite while doing it.

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