ACC Comments on EPA Proposed Rules for Prioritization and Risk Evaluation under Lautenberg Act
Rules must ensure objective and transparent implementation of the statute using the best available and highest quality science to draw conclusions about a chemical’s safety
WASHINGTON (January 13, 2017) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules for Procedures for Prioritization of Chemicals and Risk Evaluation as required by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act:
“We commend EPA on the release of the proposed rules for prioritization and risk evaluation, two critical elements of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (LCSA). Importantly, the release keeps EPA on schedule for finalization of these rules by its June 2017 statutory mandate. We are in the process of conducting a detailed analysis of the proposed rules over the next several weeks.
“ACC has articulated features that it believes are essential to prioritization and risk evaluation under LCSA. The risk-based prioritization rule must do more than address procedural requirements of the prioritization process; it must explain how statutory decisions will be based on the best available science and the weight of the scientific evidence. It is imperative that clear criteria for identifying low and high priority chemicals for risk evaluation are included in the rule, as well as the process by which the Agency will explain exactly how and why a chemical substance or category of substances received a certain prioritization score. The rule must make clear the relationships between the statutory deadlines for prioritization and the deadline requirements of other provisions of LCSA.
“The risk evaluation rule must lay out a reasonable, efficient process to determine whether a substance presents an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. The rule should consist of a tiered approach that includes an initial screening-level evaluation; if necessary, a more detailed evaluation to quantify potential risks would then be conducted. It must require consideration of a chemical’s conditions of use and its hazard and exposure potential. It is critical that the rule clarify how the Agency will base its risk evaluations on the highest quality, most relevant scientific data and the weight of the scientific evidence as required by the law. In addition, in order to ensure transparency and credibility, it is critical that EPA engage stakeholders early and often throughout the risk evaluation process and peer review.
“We look forward to reviewing these proposed rules in detail and will continue our ongoing engagement with EPA to ensure the Agency implements these important provisions and others as Congress clearly intended: in a fair, efficient and reasonable manner that protects health and the environment while promoting U.S. manufacturing and America’s place as the world’s leading innovator.”