Oversight

• HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE (04/04/08) — Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) asked the head of the Food and Drug Administration for more information relating to the FDA’s review of the use of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in products used by infants and children.

Dingell and Stupak also threatened to subpoena the two studies that FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach told the committee the FDA relied upon in determining BPA was safe.

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• HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE (04/09/08) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) expressed “serious concern” that an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal would weaken public health protections provided by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“EPA’s proposal would ignore the views of its outside expert advisers and could expose significant populations in the United States to contamination levels in drinking water that are up to three times what the law now allows,” Waxman wrote to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.

• SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE (04/03/08) — Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) wrote a letter to the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Ed Foulke, to ask why OSHA had not implemented recommendations made by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board following an explosion at a BP refinery in Texas City that killed 15 workers.

“It is now three years after the tragedy occurred and one year after the Board issued its report and I’m writing to inquire what OSHA has done to address the Board’s concerns and recommendations,” Kennedy wrote.
Kennedy said the Board found that OSHA contributed to the tragedy by “its failure to vigorously enforce its Process Safety Management standard at oil and petrochemical companies.”

• HOUSE EDUCATION AND LABOR COMMITTEE (04/08/08) — Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) released a report by the Government Accountability Office that found implementation of safety changes required at U.S. mines by a 2006 law has lagged due to insufficient guidance at the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.