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GAO Report on EPA Risk Assessments Sparks Reaction

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which provides investigative services for the United States Congress, issued a report earlier this month entitled “Status of EPA’s Efforts to Produce Assessments and Implement the Toxic Substances Control Act.”  The GAO included among the findings in the report that “…the IRIS program has made progress in addressing identified process challenges, but EPA leadership deliberations delayed progress on producing assessments.”  The IRIS risk assessment for formaldehyde is one of those cited as an example in the report.  Media and some environmental groups have alleged that the delays in issuing IRIS risk assessments reflect an attempt by the Trump administration to hold back these reviews from completion. 

The GAO also issued this month its report on high-risk federal programs that are in need of transformation or that suffer from mismanagement.  The report notes that, dating back to 2009, the EPA’s chemical assessment programs – including IRIS - have been on the “High-Risk List” reflecting a need for “broad-based transformation.”  This year’s report concludes that significant work still needs to be done to fully meet GAO recommendations for improving both the IRIS and TSCA risk assessment programs.  See GAO Produce Assessments Report, High-Risk Report and Media Coverage.  More Info: Jackson Morrill

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