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EPA’s final evaluation of the solvent n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) greatly expands the list of industrial uses that pose unreasonable risks compared to the draft version, though the final analysis also narrows the consumer uses that pose such risks and maintains the Trump-era policy of not considering risks that could be addressed under other laws.

Research scientists dominate EPA’s list of candidates to form the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) that offers input on ambient air standards, including several epidemiologists, which may signal the panel’s upcoming shift from the Trump-era membership that relied heavily on state regulators and consultants.

EPA plans to finalize in 2022 a screening tool and probabilistic risk assessment framework that will help assess risks from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and hundreds of other substances that have been detected in biosolids that are used as fertilizer, after a still-pending peer review by the agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB).

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) decision to finalize risk levels for key per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) much more stringent than EPA’s figures shows the difficulty of finding consensus on safe exposure levels to even a few of the thousands of perfluorinated chemicals, a scientist says.

The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has completed its mandatory pre-publication review of a final rule to rescind the Trump EPA’s rewrite of Clean Air Act cost-benefit procedures, clearing the path for the Biden administration to revoke the policy that critics said would make it harder to issue strict air regulations.

Environmentalists are urging EPA to drop its reluctance to pursue new health risk reviews that could spur the agency to tighten its existing air toxics rules for the solvent ethylene oxide (EtO) and synthetic rubber component chloroprene, backing calls from EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) for tougher action on emissions.

EPA has taken the rare step of asking Chicago officials to suspend review of a permit application to expand a metal recycling plant on the city’s Southeast side and conduct a cumulative impact analysis to assess its effects on nearby residents -- one of the first affirmative steps the agency has taken to reflect administration environmental justice (EJ) priorities.