Issue Date: November 30, 2009
White House Defers To EPA On Data Needs
White House regulatory overseers say they will defer to EPA’s scientific expertise on what data are needed to assess chemicals suspected of mimicking hormones. Peter R. Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management & Budget, in a letter to Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), “EPA alone makes the determination” about the type of information the agency requires to assess potential endocrine-disrupting substances. Earlier this year, OMB advised the agency to accept “other scientifically relevant information” in lieu of all or some of the required assays in EPA’s Endocrine Disrupter Screening Program “to the greatest extent possible” (C&EN, Oct. 26, page 7). Markey, chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Environment, was troubled because this sounded as if OMB was interfering with EPA’s scientific and technical judgments, and Markey asked Orszag to clarify the matter. Congress mandated the Endocrine Disrupter Screening Program in a 1996 law, but the program did not get off the ground until a few weeks ago.
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