Safer chemicals policy watch

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Under the Trump Administration, EPA is making rapid and far-reaching changes to environmental regulations from rolling back mercury and air toxic standards for power plants to undermining the new law meant to review chemicals for safety before products hit the shelves.

Our policy watch will help keep you current. This month in policy:

  • EPA muzzles science advisors on Toxic Substances Control Act - A leading environmental watchdog has voiced strong opposition to a number of decisions made by EPA that aim to limit the risks it finds when evaluating the safety of chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Recent efforts to stifle the criticism from peer reviewers is “deeply concerning.
  • Rollback of Clean Water Act could impact drinking water for millions of Americans -
    Drinking water for one in three people in the lower 48 states, along with many other people across the nation who rely on groundwater, comes from waters that just lost federal protection. Officials from EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers repealed an Obama administration update to the 1972 Clean Water Act, which had expanded protection to wetlands and streams that are disconnected from navigable rivers – 59% of streams in the United States and 81% in the Southwest specifically. The Clean Water Act requires industrial and municipal polluters discharging into protected waters to obtain permits from the EPA. The update expanded protection to agricultural pollution including pesticides and nutrients leaching from many farmers’ fields – a diffuse but cumulatively significant source of pollution.
  • Meet EPA’s Ghostwriter - A scientist on the outer fringes of his field has been patiently making the case that the government applies far too conservative controls on toxicants in the environment. Now, he’s trying to implement his ideas at EPA – by writing a sweeping new rule that could make the agency unable to adequately regulate pollution and other contaminants.
  • Washington state begins chemicals in products law implementation process - Washington state’s Department of Ecology has begun the implementation process of what has been dubbed the ‘nation’s strongest’ chemicals-in-products law and is engaging stakeholders on its progress.