Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin used a Senate committee hearing this week to be critical of the Biden administration’s friendliness with anti-plastic activists in deciding the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
It came as he questioned Dr. Feedhoff, who is the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the EPA. Questioning occurred during a Public Works Committee hearing to conduct oversight of the implementation of the Act.
In his questioning, Mullin, the Ranking Member of the Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight Subcommittee, highlighted his concern with the EPA’s regulatory decision-making after the agency blatantly referenced anti-plastic partisan activists in their announcement of chemicals for future prioritization under TSCA.
Mullin: “Dr. Freedhoff, when you go on a victory lap with activists and include their quote directly under yours in the press release – how can manufacturers and contractors who work in this industry have any confidence that this was not an activist move driven and “pre-judged” before it even comes out?”
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is enforced by the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the EPA which is headed by the Assistant Administrator. TSCA was first enacted in 1976 and requires the EPA to regulate the manufacture, processing, distribution, use and disposal of chemical substances. To do this, TSCA authorizes EPA to identify potentially dangerous chemicals in US commerce that pose an “unreasonable risk” to public health from their continued use.
Most recently, Congress amended the TSCA in 2016 with the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) to address lingering implementation issues. The amended TSCA revised the processes and requirements for evaluating and determining whether regulatory control is warranted for a chemical’s manufacture, use, and disposal.
Last month, the EPA announced five more chemicals to be considered for prioritization under TSCA. All of which are used to make plastics, including vinyl chloride—which is the chemical used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Common uses of PVC include siding panels for houses, product packaging, vinyl records, bathtub rubber ducks, blood bags, medical tubing, and food packaging just to name few applications.
Most notably, PVC also provides affordable piping that brings clean drinking water and helps remove wastewater for sanitation in rural communities not only in Oklahoma, but across the world.
Click here to watch the full video of Mullin’s remarks.