Yesterday, House Science Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan reiterating an oversight request on the Agency’s formaldehyde risk assessment process.
This letter follows one sent on March 3, 2021 on the need for timely and consistent risk assessments under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and concern with the Agency’s potential adoption of processes from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).
“While TSCA is required to conduct modern, evolving evaluations using the best available science, IRIS has been plagued with problems,” Lucas wrote, explaining the importance of Congressional oversight. “Although EPA has previously detailed how IRIS assessments potentially could help inform TSCA evaluations, this decision to resume an IRIS assessment raises questions regarding the usefulness of an outdated assessment and how this particular assessment would benefit the ongoing TSCA evaluation.”
In the months since the original oversight request was made, EPA has failed to provide a briefing, preventing the Committee from conducting its oversight responsibilities.
“EPA’s inability or unwillingness to provide a simple briefing and present justification for actions relating to the health and safety of the American people not only compounds concerns about an already questionable decision, but it also obstructs Congress from performing its duties to ensure agencies effectively execute the law,” Lucas wrote.
Lucas requested Administrator Regan’s attention to this matter. “I share your commitment to using the highest quality and best available science when developing chemical risk evaluations, and this can only be ensured through an open and transparent process, which necessitates effective communication with Congress.”