December 21, 2008

Report: EPA allows chemical secrecy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has kept data about potentially dangerous chemicals secret, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says.

The newspaper said its analysis of more than 2,000 EPA dangerous chemical filings during the last three years found that the U.S. department allowed chemicals' names to remain undisclosed in more than half those cases.

In hundreds of the registered reports, both the company and its address remained confidential.

The Journal Sentinel said the secretive EPA entries appear to be in opposition to a federal law that requires EPA officials to publicly report any new data regarding potentially dangerous chemicals.

Under the related EPA regulations, the federal department can only agree to retain confidentiality for a company or product under rare circumstances.

Wendy Wagner, a University of Texas-Austin law professor, said the newspaper's findings appear to indicate the agency has violated Toxic Substances Control Act rules.

The EPA has chosen to ignore that, she told the Journal Sentinel.