Behind the president’s budget proposal to eliminate an EPA-wide chemical evaluation program may be the goal of shifting its function to another part of the agency.
But a shift from the agency’s research arm to its chemicals office could jeopardize the EPA’s ability to meet new statutory deadlines under a toxics law Congress amended last June or preclude the program from serving the diverse agency offices and outside professionals that need it, consultants and environmental scientists say.
The chemical hazard analyses the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System, or IRIS, program, performs for the agency’s waste, air and other regulatory offices may be transferred to the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, who tracks IRIS told Bloomberg BNA.
The chemical safety office is regulatory and oversees the Toxic Substances Control Act. The IRIS program is housed in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, which is non-regulatory. A former EPA official Bloomberg BNA spoke with also said he has heard the IRIS program may be reinvented in the chemicals or another agency office.