Industry, White House May Suppress EPA List of "Chemicals Of Concern"

"The White House is under pressure from two democratic senators to release a list of chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency says could endanger human health or the environment. This so-called chemicals of concern list would include eight phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and bisphenol A."

"The chemical industry has attempted to block release of EPA’s proposed list over the past year.

Congress granted EPA the authority to create such a list in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was signed into law in 1976. But EPA hasn’t attempted to use this authority until now.

Now, Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are calling on the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to finish its regulatory review of the EPA list, which it began in May 2010. The list would not propose controls on the chemicals included, but it is nonetheless considered a regulation. Generally, OMB finishes its review of proposed regulations within three or four months.

Lautenberg and Whitehouse, who are sponsoring a bill (S. 847) to modernize TSCA, wrote in a Sept. 9 letter to OMB, 'As Congress works toward reform of the law, it is important that EPA is allowed to fully utilize its current authorities under TSCA to provide the public with information on chemicals that might pose unreasonable risk.' "

Cheryl Hogue reports for Chemical & Engineering News September 12, 2011.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011