White House tells Rep. Markey it won’t interfere with independent EPA testing

By Walter Alarkon
The Hill

The White House has assured a senior House Democrat it won’t interfere with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing of harmful chemicals.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) expressed concerns last month when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) urged the EPA to use test data compiled by private chemical companies when judging whether pesticides and other household products could disrupt the human endocrine system, which controls hormones. Markey warned that the OMB decision could put public health at risk. Markey argued that EPA should be allowed to use its own, independent data instead of relying on information from chemical companies.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told Markey in a letter last week that he agreed and said the EPA’s independent approach to testing possible endocrine disruptors and scientific reviews will remain impartial.

“I share your belief that EPA must continue to have a robust endocrine testing program and I reiterate the OMB fully supports the EPA’s sole authority to make the scientific decisions related to this effort,” Orszag wrote in a letter to Markey.

Orszag’s letter came as a relief to Markey and science groups that had raised concerns with OMB’s policy.

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