On September 6, 2013 the U.S. newspaper Huffington Post reported in an article by Kate Sheppard, senior reporter at Huffington Post, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew two proposed rules. The first rule was to create a list of “chemicals of concern” which require more scrutiny. The list included bisphenol A (BPA), 8 different phthalates as well as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The second rule would have required companies to disclose chemical ingredients for its products, as well as the health and safety studies carried out by the companies. Until now much of this information has been declared confidential by companies. The rules had been submitted with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In a statement to the Huffington Post, an EPA spokesman said that the rules were no longer necessary, due to other efforts undertaken by the EPA since. These efforts include the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan Chemicals and ChemView (reported on by the FPF). Further, the EPA voiced concern that forcing businesses to disclose health and safety studies may result in less studies being submitted with the EPA.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) commented in a news release on September 6, 2013 that the new work plan chemicals initiative has made the proposed “chemicals of concern” list unnecessary, and states that the EPA made the right decision in withdrawing the proposals. In an article of September 6, 2013, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) expressed concern that the EPA’s action plans only advance slowly due to “unrelenting effort by the industry to interfere in and slow down the process”.
Huffington Post (September 6, 2013). “EPA Quietly Withdraws Two Proposed Chemical Safety Rules.”
American Chemistry Council (September 6, 2013). “ACC comments on EPA withdrawal of two TSCA-related proposals.”
Environmental Defense Fund (September 6, 2013). “Stymied at every turn: EPA withdraws two draft TSCA proposals in the face of endless delay at OMB.”
The Center for Public Integrity (May 13, 2013), “’Chemicals of Concern’ list still wrapped in OMB red tape.”
FPF article “EPA launches new web tool”