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Trump's EPA Is 'Dangerously Off the Rails' on Toxic Chemical Regulation, Say Senators
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49182"><span class="small">Emily Holden, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Saturday, 22 June 2019 08:35

Holden writes: "Senate Democrats are charging that the Trump administration has gone 'dangerously off the rails,' in failing to implement landmark legislation meant to protect people from toxic chemicals."

Research has shown health risks in products ranging from nail polish to plastic food packaging. (photo: DutchScenery/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Research has shown health risks in products ranging from nail polish to plastic food packaging. (photo: DutchScenery/Getty Images/iStockphoto)


Trump's EPA Is 'Dangerously Off the Rails' on Toxic Chemical Regulation, Say Senators

By Emily Holden, Guardian UK

22 June 2019


Five Democrats say Trump officials have failed to ensure chemicals used in everyday products and materials are safe for humans

enate Democrats are charging that the Trump administration has gone “dangerously off the rails”, in failing to implement landmark legislation meant to protect people from toxic chemicals.

In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, five senators say Trump officials are ignoring new authorities made available to them, favoring the chemical industry over the health of Americans. The senators are presidential candidate Cory Booker, Tom Udall, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley and Sheldon Whitehouse.

In 2016, Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act, aiming to fix structural problems with the 1976 law and give the EPA more powers to ensure chemicals used in everyday products and materials are safe for humans and the environment. Research has shown health risks in products ranging from nail polish to plastic food packaging.

“Among the reforms included in the law were key requirements to protect vulnerable populations – including children, pregnant women, the elderly and chemical industry workers – and to evaluate and review the safety of all new and existing chemicals on the market,” said a press release from the senators.

They say they are raising serious concerns about Trump’s EPA undermining the intent of the law “by weakening or openly violating critical safeguards, including allowing chemicals onto the market without reviewing critical information about risks to public health”.

The lawmakers include more than eight pages of specific questions for EPA to address, including why the agency isn’t requiring more information about chemicals from producers.

A recent report from the Environmental Defense Fund finds that EPA has approved more than 80% of the chemicals it reviewed over the past year, clearing them for unrestricted use. The advocacy group says EPA is ignoring millions of pounds of toxic emissions from hundreds of contaminated sites and notes that the Trump administration is abandoning or scaling back bans of three chemicals that the Obama administration pursued.

An EPA spokesperson argued the agency has “diligently worked” to implement the law, “while ensuring the safety of chemicals in the marketplace, protecting human health and the environment, and advancing the agency’s core mission”.

The spokesperson added that a top chemicals official from the agency is briefing House and Senate staffers this week.

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+9 # chemtex2611 2019-06-22 09:53
Why didn't every single Senator sign this letter. EPA has gone rogue and is ignoring laws passed by both Senate and House and signed by the President. EPA is in contempt.

Some of the chemicals that the majority of Senators are willing to ignore and wink at can cause damage to human genetic cells. That in itself should get their attention. Other chemicals such as plasticisers, used in the molding of plastic, are hormonal disrupters -- once these are in the body, they cause real changes. Both types of chemicals are behind the demise and breeding failure of frogs, fish and birds in the US. Why would the Senate think that they are exepemt from the laws of science ?
 
 
+5 # elizabethblock 2019-06-22 13:05
It makes Nixon, who started the EPA, look like a statesman.
 
 
+3 # chapdrum 2019-06-22 17:32
This is a tried-and-true method used by Repugs - of course, the previous sociopath was a degree or two less mendacious than the current one. And so it goes.
 
 
+3 # chapdrum 2019-06-22 15:52
Recall when Don read from a story that ended with the line "...you knew I was a snake when you took [or let] me in." In the same way that Bannon announced in Feb. 2017 that the domestic agencies would be "deconstructed. " Man, are Repugs ever good at accomplishing their missions.
 
 
0 # aDog8myH8 2019-06-23 16:22
EPA allows industry to poison our air, land and water and all we do is have little meetings. If your neighbor was doing that to you, would you just send him a letter?