Throughout the election season, Republicans warned against the excessive regulation that might result from a second Obama term. They lost, and so this week America might get its first peek at what they were talking about.
The Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of abandoning a well-established negotiation process with the chemical industry, and may instead force a broad range of chemical companies to launch a disputed monitoring program. This Thursday may be the last time the sides get to hammer out a deal on how many waste water treatment sites must be monitored for the EPA to conduct an environmental — as opposed to health — risk assessment.
The negotiations are part of an “enforceable consent agreement” process which started in June. As the December 27 deadline approaches, a failure to reach an agreement is “increasingly likely,” according to the Risk Policy Report, a trade publication. If no deal is reached, the EPA may order testing on its own.
The chemicals the EPA wants to test for, known as D4 and D5, are components of siloxanes — the building blocks for silicone products. Siloxanes are ubiquitous, serving unique purposes in products ranging from airplanes to shampoo.
The industry has not opposed risk assessments or monitoring programs for these chemicals, but it has objected to the EPA’s failure to consider independently collected environmental exposure information. The EPA’s threat is to cut off negotiations and force a wasteful monitoring regime on the entire industry. To justify this threat, regulators insist on relying on outlandish models that contradict real-word data already collected and validated by government agencies both in the U.S. and Canada.
Read more at The Washington Examiner. By Jeff Stier.