EDF Health

Selected tag(s): IUR/CDR

A sea of red herrings is behind opposition to EPA’s proposal to enhance chemical reporting

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist. Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.

With the chemical industry and now Congressional Republicans mounting a last-minute effort to derail the EPA’s long-time-in-coming enhancements to its Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule (see our last post), it’s worth examining their main objections.  That examination reveals a sea of red herrings.  Here are a few of the smelliest ones, discussed in detail in this post:

Red herring #1:  EPA has failed to indicate how it will use the information it collects.

Red herring #2:  Small businesses would be excessively burdened.

Red herring #3:  More frequent reporting is a “needless” burden on the industry.

Red herring #4:  EPA is expanding the IUR from data reporting to data-gathering.

Red herring #5:  EPA’s requirement for retroactive reporting is unfair.

Red herring #6:  Requiring electronic reporting is too inflexible.

Read More »

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House leadership asks White House to scrap IUR enhancements: Where are ACC’s principles now?

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

[Update:  Here are links to the Chairmen’s news release and letter to OMB.]

E&E News is reporting (subscription required) that House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton has called on the White House to scrap the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) soon-to-be-issued enhancements to the only routine reporting system for chemicals across the entire federal government.

The final EPA rule would expand EPA’s Inventory Update Reporting (IUR), which requires periodic reporting of chemicals subject to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The rule was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on January 20 and is awaiting approval.

Chairman Upton’s move, in the form of a letter to OMB Director Jacob Lew cosigned by Environment and Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus, follows closely on the chemical industry’s loud complaints about the rule late last month at the GlobalChem conference, cosponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA).  What gives?  Read More »

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Ripples of REACH: Chemicals policy changes in Japan, Turkey and South Korea

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The November 31st deadline for the first batch of registrations under REACH (the European Union’s Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) may have passed, but life is far from dull on the international scene of chemicals policy.  As discussed in a previous post, chemicals policy enhancements are ramping up across the globe, many of them mirroring the innovations introduced under REACH.

In this post, we’ll discuss significant advances in Japan, Turkey and South Korea that drive home the message that the ripples from REACH are ever-widening.  Read More »

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A modest proposal: ACC should support and defend President’s proposed budget increase for EPA chemical safety efforts

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

President Obama unveiled his FY2012 budget yesterday, and the news was rather bleak for EPA:  a proposed 13% decrease.  But one bright spot was a proposed $16.1 million boost in funding for EPA’s chemicals management efforts using its current limited authorities under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

That additional funding, according to EPA, is to be directed at activities to further “reduce chemical risks, increase the pace of chemical hazard assessments, and provide the public with greater access to chemical information so they can make better informed decisions about their health.  Learning more about these chemicals will help protect Americans from potential threats to their health.”

What is perhaps most refreshing is EPA’s rationale for its proposal to maintain and enhance its renewed focus on chemical safety (see pages 55-56 of this EPA budget summary):

Chemicals are often released into the environment as a result of their manufacture, processing, use, and disposal. Research shows that children are getting steady infusions of industrial chemicals before they even are given solid food. Other vulnerable groups, including low-income, minority, and indigenous populations, may also be disproportionately impacted by and thus particularly at risk from chemical exposure.

So, what would the money go to, and how will the chemical industry respond?  Read More »

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Irresponsible Care: ACC seeks an exception to swallow the IUR Rule

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

I noted in an earlier post that the American Chemistry Council (ACC) is seeking major delays in the implementation of enhanced chemical information reporting requirements that EPA has proposed under its TSCA Inventory Update Rule (IUR).  But ACC isn’t content with just delaying the enhanced reporting.  It’s also seeking an exemption so large that it literally threatens to swallow much of the rule.

The proposed exemption is called for in a footnote on page 2 of the comments ACC filed on the proposed rule:  “Exemptions should be provided for any company engaged in an acquisition or divestiture during the years since the last reporting cycle.”

Just how large an exemption would that be?  Read More »

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Reporting deferred is right-to-know denied: ACC seeks major delays in EPA chemical reporting program

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist. Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.

Well, in its comments on EPA’s proposed rule to enhance chemical information reporting under the TSCA Inventory Update Rule (IUR), it took the American Chemistry Council (ACC) all of 5 paragraphs to get through the lip service it no doubt felt it had to pay to supporting EPA’s proposals “in principle,” and then proceed to devote 31 pages to arguments opposing virtually every element of EPA’s proposals.

Cunningly on its part, ACC’s arguments often do not oppose outright the EPA proposals.  Rather, it seeks to put off their implementation for as long as possible.  EPA’s proposed rule calls for reporting in 2011 that would provide information for years 2006 and forward.  In contrast, ACC would have EPA put off implementation of all of its proposed IUR enhancements, with the result that both EPA and the public would not get any of the additional information until at least 2015.

Like we said in the title of this post:  Reporting deferred is right-to-know denied.

We’ll be posting more about ACC’s comments in the coming weeks, but in this post, we’ll consider the core argument ACC makes for deferral:  that “the business of chemistry is product-focused, not substance focused.”  ACC would have us believe their member companies don’t know what chemicals are in any of the products (i.e., mixtures of chemicals) they make and sell.

This argument warrants – ahem – additional scrutiny.  Read More »

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