EPA draws criticism over withdrawal of proposed chemical rules

Sept. 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A prominent U.S. legal group has slammed the Environmental Protection Agency for withdrawing two draft rules on chemical safety, calling it "disturbing."

The group Earthjustice was quick with its criticism after the EPA announced Friday it was pulling back two draft rules that had been in the regulatory pipeline for years, The Hill reported.

"This about-face is disturbing given the fact that overburdened and vulnerable populations who already are exposed to toxic chemicals should be given more information and protection, not less," Earthjustice attorney Marianne Engelman Lado said Monday.

The EPA said the rules -- an initiative to compile a federal "chemicals of concern" list and a provision limiting firms' ability keep information about new chemicals out of public view -- were being withdrawn as they were deemed unnecessary.

But the withdrawal could mean American could be exposed to more, not less, risks, Engelman Lado said.

"Withdrawing these rules only adds more secrecy and maintains what amounts to a black hole of information around toxics," she said.

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