In Face of Congressional and Stakeholder Objections, EPA to Suspend Chemical Reporting Program to Revise Flaws Rules

May 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - The Obama administration yesterday announced plans to suspend a chemical reporting program under the Toxic Substances Control Act after serious concerns were raised about the agency's proposed changes to the program - changes that would have imposed significant new costs without a sensible benefit. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) wrote a letter to the Office of Management and Budget earlier this year calling on the administration to withdraw the draft proposal because it fails to meet the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act and President Obama's Executive Order 13563.

"Today we see the consequences of this administration's rush to regulate. After significantly - and unnecessarily - expanding and complicating this program, the agency decided to suspend the next round of chemical reporting entirely while it sorts out the mess it has created," said Upton and Shimkus. "While there is a silver lining to be seen in the temporary program suspension to give time to improve the flawed proposal, the dark storm clouds of this administration's regulatory onslaught continue to loom. We hope this announcement signals that the president's promises of sensible and beneficial regulation are finally going to be met. Thus far, the evidence has been scarce."

BACKGROUND: The proposed update to the TSCA Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) regulations would impose new and unwarranted cost burdens on the U.S. economy with no added benefit. The rule, an expansion of the 2006 IUR, would increase the frequency of reporting and breadth of information required on the use and manufacture of certain chemicals, harshly affecting a wide spectrum of businesses across the economy. EPA has provided no justification for the added red tape, seemingly in direct violation of current regulatory standards.  Both the Paperwork Reduction Act and Executive Order 13563 require agencies to justify their actions are necessary and beneficial.

The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy is playing a leading role this year examining the economic costs of environmental regulations and holding federal agencies accountable to ensure they do not regulate too much too fast, but instead conduct meaningful analysis to ensure the benefits outweigh the costs of any new proposals.