EPA Withdraws Chemicals Rules

Agency’s action is a retreat from transparency


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

On Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency withdrew a pair of proposed regulations that would have increased transparency of health and safety information related to potentially dangerous chemicals.

The two rules are years-old initiatives to compile a federal chemicals of concern list and to reform confidentiality rules for health and safety studies related to new chemicals. One of these initiatives would have added Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical included in many water bottles, other plastic products and thermal receipt paper that has been linked to a number of potential health concerns, to the list of chemicals of concern and therefore make it subject to more scrutiny. The EPA was proposing these rules under the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Marianne Engelman Lado:

“This about-face is disturbing given the fact that overburdened and vulnerable populations who already are exposed to toxic chemicals should be given more information and protection, not less.

“Withdrawing these rules only adds more secrecy and maintains what amounts to a black hole of information around toxics. This latest action leaves the American public more vulnerable to chemical exposure. 

“Given this latest development, the demand for TSCA reform through Congress is now more urgent than ever.”

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