CRE Challenges Toxic Listing Under TRI

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) submitted its second request for correction to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the agency’s data quality guidelines. The challenge appeared to be filed by CRE on behalf of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) who’s Phthalate Esters Panel nominally co-sponsored this request. This Oct. 16 petition challenges the objectivity and utility of the “Technical Review of Diisononyl Phthalate” and a rulemaking proposal that relies on the review. Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP) is a category of plasticizers used in the production of plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). EPA proposed a rule Sept. 5, 2000 to add DINP chemicals to the agency’s Toxic Release Inventory Program, which is publicly available database containing information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities. EPA believes there is sufficient evidence that these chemicals can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer or other serious or irreversible health effects such as chronic liver, kidney, or developmental problems in humans. The petition asserts that the technical review contains:
  • omissions of data including studies published after 2000;
  • biases not consistent with TRI listing requirements, which state that the chemical should be listed only when it is reasonably anticipated to cause cancer or serious chronic health effects in humans;
  • factual inaccuracies; and
  • reliance on TRI listing guidance, which CRE believes is flawed and does not meet data quality guidelines. The listing guidance outlines how a new chemical is listed under TRI.
The petition makes five recommendations:
  • EPA should withdraw the review.
  • If EPA proceeds in listing DINP chemicals under TRI, it should revise the review to include current data, make all determinations under the standard of “reasonably anticipated” to cause health effects, and remove biases.
  • If EPA produces a new review, it should subject the review to external peer review.
  • EPA should begin a new rulemaking to clarify its 1994 TRI listing guidance.
  • If EPA still proposes listing DINP under TRI, it should issue a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
Under EPA’s data quality guidelines, the submitter must explain how the alleged error affects or how a correction would benefit the requestor. CRE only offers the weak explanation that because one of its core goals is to ensure quality in government information any non-compliance to the Data Quality Act affects CRE’s ability to carry out its mission. The petition also claims that the ACC panel is affected because listing DIMP would create pressure on manufacturers, processors, and users of DINP to find a substitute.
back to Blog