Energy & Environment

Watchdog faults EPA’s chemical safety tools

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) internal watchdog wants it to better manage the ways it uses technology to help test the safety of chemicals.

The EPA’s inspector general said two offices in the agency — the research and development office and the chemical safety office — have successfully collaborated to build and use tools for risk analysis, finding safety data and other functions in the chemical testing process.

But the chemical safety office lacks a strong process for ensuring that the cooperation goes smoothly and can last and could benefit from better “management controls,” the inspector general wrote in a Friday report.

{mosads}The report comes as the EPA is working diligently to implement last year’s overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act, the law that governs the testing and certifications for thousands of chemicals sold in the United States.

On Thursday, the agency published a trio of regulations to govern how it will start the process of new chemical reviews under last year’s law.

The EPA’s watchdog warned that without a better collaboration system, EPA officials could lose out on effective tools for chemical testing

“Without management controls that ensure consistent interoffice collaboration and assess [chemical safety] product needs, [the chemical safety office] is at risk of not effectively incorporating products in a way that could rapidly improve how the EPA assesses chemical risks to human health and the environment,” the watchdog said.

Tags Environmental Protection Agency
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