Wednesday, April 17th
At a US House of Representatives hearing last week, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said a buildup of to-be-reviewed pre-manufacture notices (PMNs) can be traced to a lack of EPA personnel.
The backlog, which stands at 515 as of 2 April, is down from an October high of 553 cases. Back then the EPA responded to industry criticism by saying the buildup was due to readjustments caused by the complexity of the new TSCA requirements.
But in a 9 April hearing, Mr Wheeler told lawmakers that "it’s more a labour problem, at this point."
While the EPA hired 25 new people to work on TSCA last year, it also lost 25 people, he said. In response to questions from Representative John Shimkus (R-Illinois, pictured), Mr Wheeler said the agency will try to quickly hire more experienced scientists and engineers to make the process run in a more timely fashion.
And both Mr Wheeler and EPA toxics head Alexandra Dunn have said that a plan is in place to address the new chemical reviews that have been "languishing" for months or years.
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