EPA weakens rules for toxic substances

In a move that only industry lobbyists could love, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new set of rules that significantly weaken the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), endangering high-risk populations such as pregnant women, children, and vulnerable workers. The rule change comes on the heels of Nancy Beck’s appointment as deputy assistant administrator at the EPA. Beck previously served as a senior director at the American Chemistry Council, a leading lobbying group for the chemical industry. Not surprisingly, she played a lead role in pushing the rules to lessen the EPA’s obligation to review chemical risk—specifically all the uses and sources of exposure. When the Trump administration appointed Beck, Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey circulated a letter warning of her potential to undermine the scientific integrity of the EPA’s implementation of TSCA. He was right. Corporate polluters have now notched another victory at the expense of public health. 

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