Environmental health coalition disappointed by polluter-friendly rules
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final rules today that establish the framework for implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Government Affairs Director Liz Hitchcock issued the following statement in response:
“We are profoundly disappointed that the rules issued today depart dramatically from EPA’s original proposal, following the wishes of the chemical lobby, and allowing EPA to disregard ways that the public is exposed to and potentially harmed by toxic chemicals.
The rules announced today are supposed to be the critical building blocks for how EPA will implement the Lautenberg Act to protect public health. When the draft rules were released six months ago, we were optimistic that they would require that EPA evaluate and protect the public from toxic chemicals for all conditions of use, just as the law requires. We were hopeful that the system for prioritizing chemicals for evaluation—among the thousands in commerce—would be efficient and transparent for industry and for the public. We hoped that the rule would support EPA’s ability to make thoughtful, high-quality, science-based judgments on individual chemicals.
In the multi-year effort to reform U.S. chemical policy, the goal has been to restore the public’s trust in the safety of the products on store shelves, and build our confidence that the EPA can protect our families from unsafe chemicals. These rules fail to accomplish that, and instead put chemical industry interests ahead of the health of our children and our families.”