EPA Deserves Credit for Adhering to the TSCA Risk Evaluation Process

Wiley Rein LLP
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The agency faces pressure from groups openly advocating for EPA to bypass crucial procedural steps.

NGOs are increasing their pressure on EPA to forgo the statutorily required public participation processes and scientific peer reviews as EPA seeks to revise the first ten risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). We previously noted this lobbying effort in a prior WELL post

The latest call comes from a report issued by New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI), which makes numerous suggestions for EPA to apply TSCA in ways that stretch and exceed the authorities Congress provided the Agency. Most troubling, IPI’s TSCA “best management practices” urge EPA to issue TSCA regulations that address any level of risk—even those deemed reasonable through a robust scientific risk evaluation process—contrary to the clear letter of the law. 

In defending against legal challenges to EPA’s first ten risk evaluations, for uses where the Agency found no unreasonable risk, EPA has specifically asked the courts to allow the Agency to maintain and respect the important requirements of TSCA to seek public comments and to base decisions on the best available science and the weight of scientific evidence. EPA appears, for now, to be rightfully adhering to the TSCA legal processes.  

Because EPA may decide to reverse course, Wiley will be closely following EPA’s progress and procedures for reconsideration of the previously finalized risk evaluations. We are encouraged by EPA’s public statements and actions to date, and we support the Agency for maintaining the requisite level of public engagement against the backdrop of those seeking to eliminate TSCA’s procedural protections.

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