EPA’s new chemicals initiative calls on industry to provide robust submissions from the start

EDF welcomes agency’s effort to make new chemical reviews more efficient

June 24, 2022
Kevin Tuerff, (512) 361-3451

(Washington, D.C. – June 24, 2022) EPA today launched an outreach effort designed to educate and engage stakeholders about a key source of delay in the review process for new chemicals: the chemical industry’s repeated revisions to their applications to manufacture a chemical. These revisions, known as “reworks,” add “at least several months” to the review process, the agency said. 

“EPA’s analysis is a very good description of the challenges the agency faces,” says Maria Doa, Senior Director, Chemicals Policy at EDF. “We applaud EPA for launching this outreach effort and engaging with stakeholders. It is especially critical for industry – which often complains about a backlog in new chemical reviews – to understand that it is often its own worst enemy when it comes to delays getting new chemicals reviewed and approved for use in the marketplace. 

“As EPA makes clear, industry’s new chemical submissions often lack details to support the submitter’s claims, resulting in multiple rounds of resubmissions, all of which must be re-reviewed, adding months to many reviews. This results in a one-sided process where industry - and not workers, consumers, or the general public - consumes the lion’s share of the agency’s attention and scarce resources. 

“This is a very good first step, and we are encouraged that this initiative will help EPA, industry and the public better understand the current problems in the new chemicals program. 

“EPA should not have to do the work of industry. The industry that should provide sufficient information up front so EPA can more quickly make a determination on the initial new chemical submission.” 

Contact:

 Terry Hyland, Environmental Defense Fund, 202-907-5265, thyland@edf.org

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