Carper: GAO Report Details EPA’s Woefully Inadequate Implementation of TSCA Reform, Other Chemical Safety Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee released the following statement after the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that assessed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program.

“This report confirms that EPA’s chemical safety efforts are wrought with self-inflicted wounds, from avoidable litigation to the agency’s politically motivated delays of chemical safety assessments.

“Despite the clear and definitive mandate provided by reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act – which was passed nearly unanimously by Congress into law – EPA’s implementation of the law has been woefully inadequate and inconsistent with the direction provided by Congress.

“While the agency has made improvements to its Integrated Risk Information System program, those improvements have been stymied by the agency’s redirection of resources and personnel away from the program. Worse yet, the IRIS program seems to be beset by political interference, often at the expense of career staff’s input, sound science and transparency. This GAO report confirms EPA political staff may even be working to limit and conceal chemical safety assessments from the public. For an Agency that is seemingly obsessed with so-called ‘secret science,’ it appears to be going to great lengths to keep its own science secret.”

The GAO report, which was requested by Senator Carper, can be found here.