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ACC Welcomes House Energy & Commerce Hearing on Chemical Risk Assessments


Contact: Scott Jensen (202) 249-6511  
Email: scott_jensen@americanchemistry.com 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 6, 2011)The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy scheduled a hearing entitled “Chemical Risk Assessment: What Works for Jobs and the Economy?” 

ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley issued the following statement regarding the hearing:

“The American Chemistry Council (ACC) welcomes the Subcommittee’s hearing to examine the quality and the impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). 

“This hearing is very important and timely since the program continues to draw sharp criticism for failing to meet the benchmarks of objectivity, scientific accuracy and transparency—including most recently by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in their review of the draft IRIS assessment for formaldehyde.

“While EPA announced some process changes earlier this year, the Agency has made it clear that those changes will only apply to new assessments. ACC is concerned that an entire generation of IRIS assessments due to be completed in the next 9 to 12 months will suffer from the very same shortcomings that plagued the draft formaldehyde assessment. 

“Not addressing these shortcomings could lead to flawed assessments that will create public confusion, unwarranted alarm, unnecessary product de-selection and litigation, all of which can put jobs at risk without sound scientific basis. Moreover, flawed assessments may have significant unwarranted economic impacts because policymakers routinely draw upon IRIS assessments when developing regulations. 

“ACC believes EPA should fully implement the NAS recommendations on all pending and near-term assessments. Adopting these changes will improve the reliability of these assessments and their credibility as a basis for future regulation. These changes will also ensure that the IRIS program completes assessments more efficiently and provides answers to the public, public health professionals and industry in a far more timely way.”

ACC represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry and 90 percent of the productive capacity for basic industrial chemicals in the United States. The business of chemistry is a $504 billion a year high-tech industry and one of the largest and most globally competitive exporting sectors in the United States, with exports totaling $109 billion in 2004. United States chemicals exports support 227,000 of the nearly one million American jobs provided by the chemical industry.

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