Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

'Industry Friendly' EPA Completes Review of 600 New Chemicals

Popular
'Industry Friendly' EPA Completes Review of 600 New Chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has eliminated a backlog of more than 600 new chemicals it is reviewing under the agency's new chemical safety program.

"I am happy to report that the backlog of new chemical reviews is eliminated," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. The goal of the agency "is to ensure a new chemicals program that is both protective of human health and the environment, while also being supportive of bringing new chemicals to market."


But environmental groups accused the Trump administration for marching to the chemical industry's orders.

Richard Denison, a lead senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), said the move puts the industry's demands for ready market access above public health protection.

Denison said the EPA sidestepped the Frank Lautenberg Act, a critical environmental law signed by President Obama in 2016 that overhauled the "badly broken" Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976.

The Lautenberg Act resulted in a temporary backlog of hundreds of new chemical notices. But in recent months, EPA staff have faced "relentless pressure from the chemical industry—and internally from new industry-friendly senior management—not only to speed up reviews, but to return the program to its pre-Lautenberg practices," Denison said.

"While many details of the shifts EPA is making remain murky, EDF is concerned that EPA is moving away from the law's clear requirements that: EPA rigorously review both intended and reasonably foreseen uses of new chemicals and, where EPA identifies potential risks or lacks sufficient information, it issue an order imposing conditions on the manufacturer of the new chemical sufficient to mitigate the potential risk," Denison said.

The chemical industry cheered the EPA's announcement.

"EPA deserves our congratulations and thanks," Martha Marrapese, an attorney with the Washington office of Wiley Rein LLP, told Bloomberg BNA. "Reaching this milestone reflects a lot of hard work on the part of EPA staff and industry as we all learn how to navigate the new TSCA landscape."

A wolverine in Finland on June 19, 2019. yrjö jyske / CC BY 2.0

A Yellowstone National Park trail camera received a surprising visitor last month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An offshore oil platform in West Africa. Cavan Images / Getty Images

For the first time, researchers have identified 100 transnational corporations that take home the majority of profits from the ocean's economy.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A coalition of climate, Indigenous and racial justice groups gathered at Columbus Circle to kick off Climate Week with the Climate Justice Through Racial Justice march on Sept. 20, 2020. Erik McGregor / LightRocket via Getty Images

Environmental groups and the foundations that fund them made incremental, if mixed, progress toward diversifying their staff and leadership in 2020 but remain overwhelmingly white, according to a report issued by Green 2.0 Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Joan Ransley / Moment / Getty Images

By Jill Joyce

Maybe you're trying to eat healthier these days, aiming to get enough of the good stuff and limit the less-good stuff. You're paying attention to things like fiber and fat and vitamins … and anti-nutrients?

Read More Show Less
RyanJLane / E+ / Getty Images

Toxins enter the body through what we eat, drink, breathe in, and process in any way. Once inside, toxins overtax our immune system and detoxification system and leave us more vulnerable to illness — not ideal during cold and flu season, and especially not this year during a pandemic — and make us age a little faster, too.

Read More Show Less