EPA Recommits to ‘Best Science’ in Chemical Risk Reviews That Were Politicized Under Trump

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(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency will revamp the way it assesses toxic chemicals for health risks under the Toxic Substances Control Act, a process that under the Trump administration often let political appointees water down or disregard findings of the agency’s scientists.

Today’s announcement comes after the National Academy of Sciences criticized the approach developed by Nancy Beck, a former chemical industry lobbyist who oversaw chemical safety under Trump, as not “comprehensive, workable, objective and transparent.”

The EPA said it will review the chemical risk assessment process under directives from the Biden-Harris administration “to ensure that all agency actions meet statutory obligations, be guided by the best available science, ensure the integrity of Federal decision-making, and protect human health and the environment.”

EWG, a frequent critic of the Trump administration’s politicizing of the EPA, applauded the agency’s recommitment to scientific integrity.

“For four years, the Trump EPA cooked the books on deadly chemicals like asbestos and the paint-stripping chemical methylene chloride,” said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh. “Today’s announcement shows that the EPA is again going to review chemicals to protect public health, not make things easier for polluters.”

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