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The Lautenberg Act requires EPA to use the ‘best-available science’ and a ‘weight of evidence’ process in all chemical evaluations to increase transparency and public trust

WASHINGTON (Feb. 6, 2017) – Dr. Kimberly White, Ph.D., on behalf of the American Chemistry Council, will provide testimony tomorrow about the importance of increasing transparency and using the most up-to-date and relevant science in all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision-making, especially in the federal chemical assessments that the Agency uses to inform regulatory decisions.

“While science and our understanding of chemicals have advanced, federal programs assessing potential chemical hazards and risks have not kept pace. EPA’s continued reliance on outdated science combined with the Agency’s lack of transparency is causing the public to lose trust in the Agency’s ability to assess chemicals. Without public trust, consumers lose confidence in regulatory decision-making, leading to product de-selection that is not supported by science, unwarranted public alarm and unnecessary costs,” said Dr. White, senior director of ACC’s Chemical Products and Technology Department.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) mandates that EPA use of the best available science and a weight of evidence process to evaluate scientific information when prioritizing and evaluating chemicals for potential risks. Implementing these new provisions will require significant changes to EPA’s scientific evaluation procedures, not a simple reliance on past policy or practice, particularly for existing chemicals.

Dr. White continued, “Across EPA – and indeed the federal government as a whole – improvement in four distinct areas would enhance the evaluation and application of science in decision-making. These include: Establishing a clear framework for conducting chemical assessments; Applying consistent criteria for selecting and evaluating high quality, reliable scientific data; Transparency and objective integration of scientific evidence in decision-making; and Applying independent and robust peer review, which includes addressing peer review and public comments.”

“ACC looks forward to working with members of the Committee to ensure that high quality science is the foundation to regulatory decision making regarding potential chemical hazards and risks to human health and the environment,” said Dr. White.

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