EPA eases path for new chemicals, raising fears of health hazards
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of NBC News
Posted: January 29th, 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency is shifting course. Some former EPA officials ... say the agency is skipping vital steps that protect the public from hazardous chemicals that consumers have never used before, undermining new laws and regulations that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. In recent months, the EPA has quietly overhauled its process for determining whether new chemicals - used in everything from household cleaners and industrial manufacturing to childrens toys - pose a serious risk to human health or the environment. The agency will no longer require that manufacturers who want to produce new, potentially hazardous chemicals sign legal agreements that restrict their use under certain conditions. Such agreements, known as consent orders, will still be required if the EPA believes that the manufacturers intended use for a new chemical poses a risk to the public health and the environment. But the agency wont require consent orders when it believes there are risks associated with reasonably foreseen uses of the new chemical. Instead the EPA will rely on a broader measure, known as significant new-use rules, to regulate chemicals. Under EPA administrator Scott Pruitts leadership, the agency has taken major industry-friendly steps to loosen its regulation of legacy chemicals. Last year, the EPA delayed bans on chemicals already in widespread use, including a lethal substance in paint strippers and a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.
Note: Hundreds of people have left or been forced out of the Environmental Protection Agency since the current administration took office. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.