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March 31, 2022Environmentalists Clash With Industry Over EtO Risk In Chemical Rule

Environmentalists and state regulators are clashing with industry over the legality of EPA’s plan to reaffirm a stringent risk assessment for the solvent ethylene oxide (EtO) in a chemical sector air toxics rule, with environmental groups defending the assessment and warning industry’s preferred use of a weaker Texas alternative would be unlawful....The IRIS analysis found health risks from EtO far greater than previously thought... The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform in its March 24 comments also supports use of the IRIS risk assessment, but further presses EPA to address issues it has placed outside of the scope of the current rulemaking.“It is time for EPA to fully follow the science and strengthen the MON emission standards to finally protect communities who live, work, worship, go to school, and breathe air near these chemical plants as the Clean Air Act requires,” the group says. EPA should tighten the rule “by reducing flaring, leaks, and other fugitive emissions to eliminate unacceptable cancer risk and provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health from the cumulative health risks and impacts caused by MON and collocated and nearby chemical and petrochemical sources,” it says. The group also urges EPA to update its “outdated cancer risk policy benchmark and the risk assessment approach to account for the real-world cumulative health harms experienced by communities.”



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