Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) yesterday sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency urging the agency to include asbestos in the first group of high-risk chemicals to be evaluated under the new Toxic Substances Control Act. Under the act, the EPA is required to select 10 chemicals to evaluate and then regulate if they present an unreasonable risk to the public.
“As President Obama noted is his signing statement, asbestos is a known carcinogen responsible for the deaths of an estimated 10,000 Americans each year. I believe that expediting the evaluation of asbestos should be a top-level priority for the EPA,” Senator Feinstein wrote.
The full text of the letter follows:
September 6, 2016
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
Dear Administrator McCarthy:
I write to urge you to include asbestos to be evaluated in 2016 under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act). As President Obama noted is his signing statement, asbestos is a known carcinogen responsible for the deaths of an estimated 10,000 Americans each year. I believe that expediting the evaluation of asbestos should be a top-level priority for the EPA.
The Lautenberg Act improves and streamlines the EPA’s authority to regulate dangerous chemicals, and represents an important advancement in protecting public health and safety. As the EPA works to prioritize chemicals for evaluation using the best available science, I hope that you will include asbestos in the first group of ten high-risk chemicals. In my view, this action would serve to reaffirm confidence in the EPA’s ability to protect Americans from dangerous chemicals.
Thank you for your ongoing work to implement the Lautenberg Act. I look forward to continuing to support the EPA’s efforts to modernize federal chemical safety standards that protect American families, workers, and the environment.
United States Senate