— Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today questioned Dr. Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, during a hearing on the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) amendments.


A CLEAR AND CONSISTENT DEFINITION OF PFAS: “There are several definitions at EPA of ‘PFAS.’ Do you think a clear and consistent definition of PFAS would be useful for EPA?...I think uniformity is obviously easier and if you’re having issues meeting deadlines and having clear roadmaps are always much more beneficial. When Radhika Fox last testified before the committee she said EPA was not developing a uniform definition… Do you intend to utilize a tiered approach to classifying PFAS by categorizing them based on their different physical properties and hazard profiles?” 

WE CAN’T MEASURE THESE PFAS LEVELS: “I think some of the confusion we have hear today is your office’s role with PFAS as opposed to the health advisory that come out from the water office. This to me—having had PFAS in our water systems and shut down our local water systems overnight—the risk assessments and the risk communications are so extremely important…How do you message that to people when you’re trying to tell them what’s safe and what isn’t?...On the health advisory level, we can’t measure that low. So how do you know? You don’t.”

STAY IN YOUR LANE: “Why are you making assumptions that workers are not wearing their PPE? Isn’t that OSHA’s job rather than yours? We’ve already discussed your deadlines are lapsed so let’s stay in our lane is my message.” 

RED TAPE IN ACTION: “It is clear from the data that new determinations has slowed significantly. What steps are you taking to improve the pace at which these new chemical determinations are issued?”

GETTING EPA BACK TO WORK: “If you have a 15% smaller staff over the last year-and-a-half. Have you hired into those positions?...I’m not disputing telework, but if I had an organization that was falling way behind, I think I might be roping people back in the office and saying ‘Look, it’s not working this way.’”


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