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By Pat Rizzuto
Implementing the amended Toxic Substances Control Act is absolutely a priority, Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, testified Jan. 18.
The EPA also must make managing certain chemicals, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a priority, Pruitt told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during his nomination hearing.
Committee chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) were among the senators who asked Pruitt about TSCA implementation during his nomination hearing.
Pruitt told Capito that TSCA implementation would “absolutely” be a priority.
He later listed core, or “framework,” regulations the amended chemicals law required.
Issuing those mid-year, as the statute requires, should be the next EPA administrator’s priority, Pruitt said.
Amended TSCA requires the EPA to issue three fundamental implementation rules by June. The rules would establish procedures the EPA would use to:
The fee rule does not have a statutory deadline, but the EPA needs the revenue the rule would generate to carry out the law’s mandates.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she’s concerned about perfluorooctanoic acid that is contaminating her state’s drinking water supplies.
PFOA should be tested under the chemicals law, she said.
“If it is a carcinogen as many scientists say it is, it needs to be banned,” Gillibrand said.
Perfluorooctanoic acid has been phased out of U.S. production, but can still be imported. For decades, it was used to make other chemicals that go into cookware, cables, textiles and other products with stick-, stain- and heat-resistant properties.
PFOA also remains in the environment as related chemicals break down to it. DuPont’s former use of PFOA to make other chemicals, which in turn were used to manufacture Teflon and other nonstick cookware has led to the chemical being dubbed the “Teflon” chemical.
New York, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Ohio and West Virginia are just a few states where the local officials have detected the chemical in drinking water supplies.
Pruitt said PFOA needs to be addressed quickly whether under TSCA or the Safe Drinking Water Act.
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Video of Chairman Barrasso questioning Pruitt on the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is available at http://src.bna.com/lyA.
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