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Toxics

Regan Targets Childhood Lead Exposures, Readies Equity Task Force

EPA Administrator Michael Regan raised disparities in lead exposures and asthma rates as top priorities in his first briefing with children’s health officials, including as potential subjects of a planned agency-wide task force on racial equity, Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP) Director Jeanne Briskin says.

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Study Says Asbestos May Escape Burial Sites, Broadening Exposures

A recent study says “millions of people” living near asbestos-contaminated sites could be more exposed to the toxic fibers than was previously known, based on new findings that it can migrate to groundwater even after being buried and covered with a soil “cap” -- a common method of cleaning up the material at Superfund and other waste sites.

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Waterhouse Aims To Counter Lead Contamination By Breaking EPA ‘Silos’

Carlton Waterhouse, EPA’s top political appointee in the waste office, says he is pursuing efforts to counter lead contamination by breaking up past “silos” in which separate agency divisions tackle different aspects of lead pollution, and instead is pursuing a “whole government approach” to reducing lead exposures and promoting equity.

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Regan Weighs Need For New Tools To Address Cumulative Chemical Effects

EPA Administrator Michael Regan is holding “conversations” within the agency on whether officials have the tools and authorities it needs to adequately address the cumulative impacts of exposures to toxic chemicals and other forms of pollution, a key concern in environmental justice (EJ) communities.

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EPA Plans Expanded TRI Mandates For ‘Priority’ TSCA Chemicals, EtO

EPA is planning to subject a host of new chemicals and facilities to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements, including all chemicals on the TSCA “high-priority” list and Obama-era workplan, as well as requiring some previously exempt facilities that work with ethylene oxide (EtO) to participate in the program.

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Biden Nominates Three CSB Members, Seeking To End ‘Quorum Of One’

President Joe Biden has named three nominees to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) including former EPA chemicals-office chief Steve Owens, after environmental, labor and industry groups as well as the agency’s own inspector general warned that the panel cannot continue to operate with a single member.

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EPA Limits Use Of TSCA ‘Low-Volume’ Exemption For PFAS Approvals

EPA says it will largely halt use of TSCA’s “low-volume exemption” (LVE) when approving use of new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and plans to “work cooperatively” with industry to withdraw some past approvals, even as environmentalists are pushing to block use of any such exemptions when approving PFAS.

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Regan Forms Senior Staff Council To Bolster Efforts On Tackling PFAS

EPA Administrator Michael Regan has formed a council of senior agency staff to jumpstart strategies to tackle per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), seeking “pragmatic approaches” to protecting the public from the ubiquitous chemicals that will include reviewing ongoing PFAS actions as well as assisting states on PFAS challenges.

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EPA Will Seek HBCD Evaluation Remand In Early Marker For TSCA Agenda

EPA intends to seek voluntary remand of the Trump-era TSCA evaluation of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and other flame retardants in order to reconsider its findings that some of their uses pose no unreasonable risks, in what could be the Biden administration’s first concrete step to tighten findings in some of the agency’ first 10 assessments.

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SOCMA Seeks To Preserve Key Trump-Era TSCA ‘Wins’ Under Biden EPA

The specialty chemicals industry plans a broad lobbying push aimed at preserving Trump-era policy “wins” for the sector, with top priorities including EPA’s framework for chemical reviews, its TSCA fee structure and facility-safety mandates -- though a key official admits the effort will be an uphill battle.

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