NPRA Reports EPA to Focus on Command and Control

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association said it has learned and confirmed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to abandon its innovative and collaborative Chemical Assessment & Management Program (ChAMP) and will instead refocus its efforts toward implementing a command-and-control approach toward chemicals management policy.

In response to this information, EPA press officer Dale Kemery told Environmental Protection that "EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson highlighted the need to strengthen EPA's chemical management program as one of her priorities coming in to the agency. As part of this process, the agency is evaluating its existing chemicals program, including the Chemical Assessment and Management Program, or ChAMP, to determine how best to ramp up efforts to assess, prioritize and take risk management action on chemicals of concern. EPA plans to announce the specifics of this effort this summer and will seek public input into the discussion."

He noted that, "While EPA has not made a final determination on how the agency's efforts to enhance the chemicals management program will impact the current ChAMP program, OPPTS [Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances]has suspended development and posting of ChAMP Risk-Based Prioritizations during this evaluation."

Charles T. Drevna, NPRA president, said, "It is extremely disheartening that the administration would abandon its priority-setting chemicals management process before it is even given the opportunity to work. We now question how the United States will keep its commitment to our neighbors under the Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America."

NPRA views ChAMP as a true commitment to an open and collaborative approach to chemicals management, which routinely included open, public discourse between all stakeholders in the public and private sectors. NPRA fully supports a process that considers both the properties of chemicals and the potential of unsafe exposure to those substances when establishing EPA regulatory priorities.

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