EPA to Strengthen New Chemical Safety Reviews

EPA to Strengthen New Chemical Safety Reviews

The EPA has announced several actions to enhance scientific integrity.

The EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, or OCSPP, announced several actions they plan to take to enhance scientific integrity and strengthen new chemical safety reviews. These actions include establishing two internal science policy advisory councils, creating a new senior-level career position to serve as policy advisor to the Assistant Administrator, and making further improvements to policies and procedures.

In March of this year, the OCSPP issued a memorandum that affirmed its commitment to scientific integrity as an essential and critical element in all work done by the office. The actions announced this week represent the next steps in the agency’s commitment to strong science in the review of chemicals and pesticides and ensure that reviews adhere to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Executive Orders and other directives. 

“Scientific integrity is the backbone of the work we do to ensure the safety of chemicals used in our everyday lives,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff in a press release. “Strong, sound science underpins confidence in our decision-making among the public that we serve. [These] announcements are the latest in a series of steps OCSPP is taking to reaffirm our commitment to scientific integrity and restore the public trust.”

One of the actions proposed looks to strengthen new chemical safety reviews. As part of OSCPP’s broader review of policies and procedures, OCSPP’s New Chemicals Division (NCD) engaged in a top-to-bottom effort to catalogue, prioritize, and improve its standard operating procedures (SOPs), decision-making and record-keeping practices related to review and management of new chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 

To date, NCD has inventoried and reviewed over 100 different SOPs, guidances and science policies, and prioritized those that NCD expects to be updated over the next year. Several policy changes have already been implemented, including stopping harmful new PFAS from entering the market and procedures to strengthen the review of new chemicals and ensure worker safety.

To read more about the actions taking place in the future, click here.

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