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