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Toxics

Environmentalists Warn PFAS Might Lessen COVID-19 Vaccine’s Efficacy

Environmental researchers are warning that exposures to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine, with one analyst saying that even though data on such a link is limited it suggests a need to prioritize vaccine rollout in communities with higher PFAS exposures.

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OIG Urges EPA To Reconsider Decision Against Warning On EtO Air Risks

EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is urging the agency’s new political leadership to reconsider the Trump administration’s decision that rejected an OIG recommendation for EPA to communicate the adverse health risks of ethylene oxide (EtO) exposure to communities living near facilities emitting the solvent.

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After Review, Biden EPA Backs Trump-Era PFAS Drinking Water Decisions

The Biden EPA is moving forward with decisions to develop drinking water standards for two of the most well-studied per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and to propose monitoring for dozens of PFAS in drinking water to determine if other rules are needed, backing decisions the agency made at the end of the Trump administration.

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Early Data Show Promise For PFAS Destruction, But Byproducts Unclear

Preliminary data from a fast-tracked EPA research project examining four innovative destruction technologies as well as incineration for treating persistent chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) all showed promise in destroying the initial compounds, but it is unclear what potential byproducts the methods created.

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Capito Urges Quick EPA Release Of Determination For PFAS SDWA Rule

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the top Republican on the environment committee, is urging the White House to release from review the Trump EPA’s final regulatory determination to begin the process to regulate two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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EPA Weighs Expanding Industry-Sought TSCA Evaluation Of Ethanones

EPA is considering whether to broaden any evaluation of four chemicals known as ethanones beyond the conditions of use manufacturers proposed in their request for the agency to conduct the study, marking an early sign of how the Biden administration could strengthen Trump-era TSCA actions that environmentalists say are too narrow.

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USS Lead Superfund Review May Test Biden EPA On Environmental Justice

The Biden EPA’s focus on environmental justice (EJ) as a cornerstone of the agency’s actions could face an early test with the first five-year review of a former lead smelter Superfund site in East Chicago, IN -- a site where advocates for years have urged a greater EPA focus on various sources of lead pollution affecting the local EJ community.

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EPA To Replace TSCA Systematic Review Approach After Harsh NAS Critique

EPA is abandoning the Trump-era approach to systematic data review that guided the first TSCA evaluations of existing chemicals and will craft a new model based in part on a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report that said the current approach lacked objectivity “at each step” and “compromised” the program’s transparency.

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Trump TSCA Advisory Might Impede Development Of Renewable Fuels

A Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) compliance advisory that the Trump EPA issued in December might impede the development and marketing of some renewable fuels and fuel additives if those fuels have not already been registered on the TSCA inventory of chemicals, according to lawyers tracking the issue.

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White House Officials Sought To Bolster Legal Basis For EPA’s PBT Rules

White House officials appear to have sought to bolster the legal basis for EPA’s five TSCA rules governing persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals from possible industry challenges, adding language during interagency review that sought to justify developing the rules without conducting risk assessments.

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