EPA increases public access to chemical data

The Environmental Protection Agency moved on Tuesday to increase the amount of data made available to the public on regulated chemicals.

The changes are being made to its "one-stop online tool" called ChemView, the agency said, which provides information on chemicals regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

"In the absence of Treform, EPA is moving ahead to improve access to chemical health and safety information, and increase the dialogue to help the public choose safer ingredients used in everyday products,” said James Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

“The additional data along with a customer satisfaction survey will make chemical information more readily available for decision-makers and consumers," Jones added.

The new functions include improving the display and content for the reporting tool, and new links to pollution prevention information.

The database will also include information on consent order, and new use rules for new and existing chemicals.

The federal government and Congress has come under mounting pressure to act on TSCA reform after a recent chemical spill in West Virginia, which left communities without clean water for days.
Environmentalists have also recently urged the EPA to set more stringent time limits on information deemed "confidential" by the chemical industry.

Green groups argue that while the EPA and others are waiting for TSCA to be reformed, the agency should place on limit confidentiality claims to increase public access to what they consider important information that could improve the health of people across the U.S.