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Reviews | The EPA needs resources – and guidelines

Regarding the June 1 news article “Budget cut, workload increase creates EPA crisis”:

The American Chemistry Council agrees that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention needs more money and more staff to implement the law on Control of Toxic Substances (TSCA) effectively and efficiently in accordance with congressional intent.

We contend that the EPA has the resources it needs to achieve the goals set out in the 2016 Bipartisan Amendments to TSCA. However, with our support for additional funding for the TSCA program comes the expectation that the EPA will meet its statutory requirements, which it currently fails to do in many areas. The EPA must be transparent about how resources are spent today and how future resources will be allocated within the agency to meet legal requirements. This includes improving the throughput and timeliness of the new chemicals program, using real-world data and current industry practices when assessing workplace risks, and demonstrating that the agency consistently applies science-based standards embedded in law when making safety decisions.

The author is president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council.

Industries generally do not approve larger budgets for their federal regulators. But the industry I represent, which makes cleaners, disinfectants and pesticides, is fighting to increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and for good reason.

The June 1 article “Shrinking Budget, Growing Workload Create EPA Crisis” well documented the many problems the agency faces due to funding shortfalls. But one was missed: The EPA has a staggering backlog of 11,000 regulatory decisions related to pesticides due to staffing shortages.

The resulting delays in approving advances in pesticides hurt both the companies that make the products and the consumers who benefit from them. Companies need certainty to market their products. Congress should approve the larger EPA budget President Biden has requested so he can once again become the preeminent environmental regulator he is meant to be.

Steve Caldera, Washington

The author is president and CEO of the Household & Commercial Products Association.