Aug. 6, 2010 by Lena Pons

American Chemistry Council's Request for Correction on BPA Action Plan Exceeds the Limits of the Data Quality Act

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), a trade association that represents chemical industry interests and is heavily connected to the plastics industry, filed a Request for Correction Monday on the EPA's Chemical Action Plan for Bisphenol A (BPA). The request, filed under a provision of the Data Quality Act (also referred to as the Information Quality Act), is truly astonishing and bears noting. In addition to standard requests that EPA statements be toned down or removed due to conflicting studies, ACC makes several requests that EPA remove statements that are included not as “ knowledge such as facts or data,” but policy statements that reflect EPA’s intent to manage exposure to BPA.

ACC requests in several places that references to a Canadian risk assessment of BPA be deleted because the Canadian assessment was informed by the precautionary principle:

Any reliance in the Canadian assessment to support EPA’s conclusion that … action is warranted is not appropriate under the Guidelines; EPA cannot blindly rely on Canada’s screening risk assessment (particularly as Canada’s assessment incorporates the precautionary principle), but must perform its own weight-of-the-evidence assessment. (p. 9)

And ACC later objects to the use of a “conservative” model:

EPA cannot rely …

July 27, 2010 by Lena Pons

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 (H.R. 5381/S. 3302), the primary legislation on the table in response to the Toyota unintended acceleration fiasco, went through the committee process in the House and Senate earlier this summer. The bills, as introduced, included some tough provisions to respond to gaps exposed by the Toyota episode.

Among important reforms included in the bills currently:

  • More public access to NHTSA’s early warning information database;
  • standards for accelerator control and brake override;
  • a standard requiring redundant systems to ensure vehicle electronics are robust;
  • mandatory event data recorders;
  • significantly increased civil penalties;
  • penalties to hold corporate officials civilly liable for submission of false, misleading or incomplete information to NHTSA;
  • restoration of federal judicial redress if people believe NHTSA has illegally denied their defect petition; and
  • a needed increase in funding for NHTSA.

But as the bills move through the …

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