EPA: Chemical Industry Withholding Crucial Data

Sept. 22, 2023
Environmental Protection Agency called on the industry to engage with regulators earlier in the process to avoid last-minute challenges.

According to an E&E News by Politico article, the assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Michal Freedhoff, has expressed concern about the industry withholding crucial data on chemicals under risk assessment. At a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit on Sept. 20, Freedhoff revealed that some companies have refused to share information with the agency.

“I have had more than one company tell me to my face they don’t want to tell the agency their information,” said Freedhoff.

The EPA has recently proposed several rules, including ones for managing PFAS, altering the chemicals review process and imposing stricter regulations on "high priority" chemicals. These proposals have faced significant opposition from organizations like the American Chemistry Council  and Dow Chemical, who argue that they could stifle innovation and lead to job losses.

Freedhoff called on the industry to engage with regulators earlier in the process to avoid last-minute challenges. She acknowledged the agency's struggles due to increased workload and tighter deadlines, as mandated by the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA has missed most of its 90-day deadlines for new chemical reviews, leading to lawsuits from advocacy groups. Industry representatives emphasized the need for collaboration with the agency to provide necessary data.

Despite these challenges, Freedhoff hopes that new proposals and additional data reporting requirements will address industry concerns. She also indicated that the list of "high priority" chemicals under evaluation has been narrowed down, with a final announcement expected in December.

About the Author

Traci Purdum | Editor-in-Chief

Traci Purdum, an award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering manufacturing and management issues, is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent, Ohio, and an alumnus of the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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