EPA Research Head Confirmed After Vitter Deal

"EPA Administrator Lisa Perez Jackson and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., reached a Christmas Eve accord that will give the National Academy of Sciences a role in the EPA's review of the risks of formaldehyde, and allowed the Senate to confirm Paul Anastas as the EPA's director of research and development.

Vitter earlier this year had placed a hold on Jackson's nomination of Anastas, saying he first wanted the Environmental Protection Agency to fulfill a promise made at the end of the last administration that it would let the National Academy of Sciences review its formaldehyde assessment.

The EPA had resisted, contending the NAS review would delay its ability to issue a risk assessment and new safety standards. Critics charged that Vitter was doing the bidding of the formaldehyde industry, which had also asked for the NAS study. But Vitter said he was only seeking the best science, and that it was the EPA that was causing any delay by dragging its heels in responding to his request that it stick to its earlier commitment."

Jonathan Tilove reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune December 24, 2009.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009