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House Hearing on EPA's IRIS Program Seeks to Advance False Political Narrative

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The Democratic majority on the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment is scheduled to hold a hearing today titled “EPA’s IRIS Program: Reviewing its Progress and Roadblocks Ahead.” The hearing will likely focus on the Trump administration’s selection of 20 priority chemicals to assess under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) some of which are currently the subject of yet-to-be released IRIS assessments. Activists and some lawmakers have claimed that the Trump EPA is trying to undermine science by moving chemical assessment functions from the IRIS into TSCA program.

CEI Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. said:

“Unfortunately, the upcoming congressional hearing is unlikely to provide a balanced overview of the issue because it’s not designed for that purpose. It’s purely political—designed to build on a ridiculous narrative that the administration desires to undermine science.

“IRIS is an administratively created program that operates without any congressionally mandated scientific guidelines, and it has a long history of producing junk science. The TSCA program, on the other hand, has some solid, statutorily mandated requirements designed to promote a rigorous scientific process.

“Environmental activists don’t want EPA to deploy the more rigorous scientific guidelines under the TSCA program because it may diminish the agency’s power to regulate based on junk science. Improved science under TSCA would help ensure regulations are sound and don’t impose needless and counterproductive burdens on society.”

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