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December 7, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. Quoted in Chemical Watch Article “Update to TSCA risk evaluation rule would be ‘sea change’ for existing chemicals programme”

The ACTA Group

On December 6, 2023, comments by Lynn L. Bergeson and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. were featured in Chemical Watch’s article on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent proposal to overhaul its 2017 risk evaluation ‘framework’ rule.

Lynn Bergeson and Rich Engler of Bergeson & Campbell said their primary concern centres around the proposal to remove scientific definitions like ‘best available science’ and ‘weight of the scientific evidence’ from the rule. 

The EPA said removing these terms would give “flexibility to quickly adapt to and implement changing science”.

But according to Bergeson and Engler, it “may allow for interpretations that are not based in science, but rather on the prevailing views of an administration”. 

Proposed changes to the agency’s peer review approaches – including allowing for a review of only certain portions of an evaluation – adds further concern, they said, because it could “lead to cherry picking peer-reviewed information that supports a preferred outcome rather than a scientifically defensible outcome”. 

“Overall, this proposal puts much more discretion in EPA’s hands and could easily lead to regulatory whiplash whenever there is a change in the administration,” the attorneys said. 

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