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Toxics

EPA expands controversial sulfoxaflor registration

EPA’s toxics chief says the agency is “thrilled” to have registered new uses for the insecticide but environmentalists called the decision “reckless” and warned it will further decimate pollinator populations.

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House Approves PFAS Superfund Amendment Over GOP, Industry Objection

The House by voice vote July 12 approved an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would require EPA to declare within one year that perfluorinated chemicals are hazardous substances under the Superfund law, despite objections from GOP lawmakers and a number of industry groups, who fear significant new cleanup liability.

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Senate Confirms EPA Waste Chief Wright In Party-Line Vote

The Senate July 11 voted along party lines to confirm Peter Wright to lead EPA’s waste office, overcoming Democrats’ efforts to block, or at least delay, the vote as they cited new ethical questions, his long-time chemical industry background and EPA’s failure, to date, to fulfill promises to regulate two perfluorinated chemicals.

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Wheeler replaces children’s center director

EPA has tapped Jeanne Briskin, a long-time career employee, to lead the Office of Children’s Health Protection.

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House Poised To Debate PFAS Superfund Listing, Sparking GOP Criticism

The House is gearing up to debate an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would require EPA to list perfluorinated chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law, a move that is already prompting strong opposition from a top Senate Republican opposed to the measure.

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Rules Committee Allows House Debate On Suite Of PFAS Amendments

The House Rules Committee is allowing lawmakers to debate a series of amendments governing perfluorinated chemicals when lawmakers take up the annual defense authorization bill in the coming days, including a key amendment requiring EPA to quickly designate the chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law.

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NIEHS director announces retirement

Linda Birnbaum is stepping down from her leadership of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in October, where she has overseen research relevant to EPA.

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FDA Expands Fish Advisory As EPA Launches New Mercury Assessment

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its joint advice with EPA on fish consumption for women of childbearing age and to parents for feeding children fish, and is seeking comments on how best to educate the public about the changes, even as EPA prepares to update its analysis of methylmercury’s risks to human health, which forms the basis for the advice.

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EPA says environmentalists have limited standing in TSCA suit

“These Rules do not establish the scope of future risk evaluations. … Any such decision would occur in the context of chemical-specific evaluations, which will themselves be judicially reviewable,” EPA’s brief said.

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Three Years After TSCA Reform, EPA Struggles To Provide Hoped-For Certainty

Three years after Congress reformed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), handing EPA a host of new authorities to regulate industrial chemicals, agency staff are struggling to meet the law’s deadlines, many rules face litigation, and states and retailers continue to lack confidence that the new regime will provide the certainty they are seeking.

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