WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, along with Representative Jim Moran (D-VA), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment, today introduced the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Enhancement Act (H.R. 5210), legislation to update the original Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program established in 1996.
“From chemicals used in everyday consumer products to rocket fuel, there are many potentially dangerous substances that find their way into our drinking water supply,” said Representative Markey. “But with this bill, we will drastically beef up our capacity to quickly screen chemicals to determine their effects on human health. This bill will mandate the screening of chemicals found in our drinking water, and update the testing requirements to create a more transparent program that relies on the most up-to-date science. We must do absolutely everything we can to keep our drinking water safe.”
“Our drinking water laws and regulations are no longer current with the pace at which new chemicals have been developed and brought into everyday use,” said Representative Moran. “This legislation gives us the tools to catch up and employ the latest science to ensure our water is safe, laying the groundwork for removing potentially harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals from our drinking water.”
When it was first established, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program was required to test all pesticides that may come into contact with food for their ability to interfere with the body’s hormonal system. However, the EPA has never exercised its discretionary authority to test non-pesticide chemicals that may be found in sources of drinking water.
The Endocrine Disruptor Screening Enhancement Act directs the EPA to establish a program that tests chemicals found in drinking water to determine whether they are endocrine disruptors and if so, to determine the extent of their ability to interfere with the body’s hormonal system.
The program requires EPA to come up with a plan and schedule for identifying and testing substances found in drinking water, ensuring that at least 100 chemicals found in drinking water are tested within four years. This plan, as well as data and other information related to the testing program must be made publically available on a searchable database.
-EPA must engage in a public process to specify the manner in which it will develop, require and evaluate tests.
Every 3 years EPA must review the current state of science to determine if significant technological advancements warrant revision of testing procedures.
-EPA is given authority to accelerate the testing of substances that are suspected endocrine disruptors.
-Once testing of a substance is completed, EPA must determine whether regulation of a substance that has been found to be an endocrine disruptor is warranted. Any action that EPA takes should be shared with other Federal Agencies with regulatory jurisdiction over products that contain the substance.
The legislation has been endorsed by the Breast Cancer Fund, Consumers Union, Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Endocrine Disruption Exchange.
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