EPN In Action May-June 2024

Welcome to your EPN In Action newsletter!

Highlights

  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s draft risk evaluation for formaldehyde.

  • EPN also submitted comments on Bayer CropScience LP’s application for a pesticide registration that would allow “over-the-top” use of dicamba on dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton.

  • EPN submitted comments on the ad hoc committee assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to explore cumulative impact assessments and the proposed charge questions to be put before the ad hoc committee.

  • EPN submitted comments on key issues in the Asbestos Part 2 draft risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

  • EPN submitted comments on the draft human health and ecological risk assessment for formaldehyde and paraformaldehyde.

Announcements

  • During May and June, EPN connected over 40 volunteers to over 160 requests for technical assistance from frontline communities, nonprofit organizations, law clinics, under-resourced government agencies, and others.

  • EPN members were featured in dozens of media outlets and authored several op-eds. EPN continues to provide in-depth, insightful background information to numerous reporters, congressional staffers, and nonprofits.

  • EPN continues to grow! We hired a new National Grants Associate, Caitlin Bolger, and a new Region 1 Community Outreach Associate, Michelle Peedin!

EPN’s Work on Pesticides

EPN Comments on New Registration Applications for the Pesticide Dicamba

On June 3, and July 2, 2024, EPN submitted comments on Bayer CropScience LP and BASF's applications for a pesticide registration that would allow "over-the-top" use of dicamba on dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton. We recommended that EPA should either deny the proposed registrations or impose an additional condition requiring Bayer and BASF to fund an independently administered program that fully compensates anyone who sustains injury due to off-target movement of dicamba.

EPN’s Work on TSCA


Chemicals in the News

The EPA Cop Who Became a Warrior for ‘Forever Chemicals’

May 22, 2024 / by

Susan Pulliam /

The Wall Street Journal

Linda Birnbaum, Penny Fenner-Crisp, Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Joel Schwartz, Betsy Southerland, and Tracey Woodruff were quoted in The Wall Street Journal about former EPA-turned-industry toxicologist Michael Dourson and his scientific bias that favors chemical companies.

How to Minimize Your Exposure to Microplastics

June 7, 2024 / by

Sarah Sloat /

The New York Times

Tracey Woodruff, Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, and former senior scientist and policy advisor, EPA Office of Policy, was quoted in this article discussing ways to lessen exposure to microplastics that may be shed from food, clothing, and furniture.

Court Backs EPA’s ‘Forever Chemicals’ Testing Strategy

June 12, 2024 / by

Ellie Borst /

E&E News

Bob Sussman, counsel for several North Carolina-based environmental groups and former EPA Deputy Administrator, was quoted in this article discussing the decision of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals to support EPA’s use of its PFAS National Testing Strategy to address a petition to test 54 different PFAS.

EPN’s Work on Citizen Science


Science in the News

Why Scientists Fear a Second Trump Term, and What They Are Doing About It

June 12, 2024 / by

Maxine Joselow and Scott Dance /

The Washington Post

Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, former Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Research and Development, was quoted in this article regarding the addition of a scientific integrity provision in the union contract for EPA’s largest union and other efforts to protect federal agency research from political manipulation.

Conodoguinet Creek the Focus of New Citizen Science Project

June 20, 2024 / by

Rachel McDevitt /

State Impact Pennsylvania

Betsy Southerland, former Director of the Office of Science and Technology, EPA Office of Water, was quoted in StateImpact Pennsylvania about EPN’s technical assistance program and the assistance she provided to Move Past Plastic, a PA group working to determine pollution sources along the Conodoguinet Creek.


EPN Member Op-Eds

EPN members penned their own op-eds about attacks on civil service employees, comparing food chemical safety in Europe, and the environmental accomplishments during Biden’s first term.

Proposals to Undermine Professional Civil Service Would Endanger Public Health and the Environment

April 17, 2024 / by

Mark Hague /

Environmental Protection News

Mark Hague, former EPA Regional Administrator and Deputy Regional Administrator in Region 7, penned an op-ed about the importance of civil service employees and the dangers of “Schedule F,” an executive order signed by Trump–later rescinded by Biden–that would no longer protect civil service employees from politically-motivated firings.

Op-ed: When It Comes to Food Chemicals, Europe’s Food Safety Agency and the FDA Are Oceans Apart

May 2, 2024 / by

Maricel Maffini and Linda Birnbaum /

Environmental Health News

Linda Birnbaum, former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), co-authored an op-ed contrasting food chemical regulation processes of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with the E.U.’s European Food Safety Authority.

Against All Odds, Biden’s EPA is Saving Lives and Tackling Climate Change at a Record Pace

May 13, 2024 / by

Rob Wolcott and Jeremy Symons /

Environmental Protection News

Robert Wolcott, former EPA Senior Counsel to ORD and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy and Regional Economist, and Jeremy Symons, Senior Advisor to EPN, co-authored an op-ed about the environmental accomplishments achieved by Biden’s EPA despite the many hurdles the previous administration left behind.

More Examples of EPN in the News

EPN members contributed to a range of articles, such as the City of San Francisco challenging an EPA rule in the Supreme Court and the upcoming challenges of EPA budget cuts.

Strange Bedfellows Align in Latest Supreme Court Water Case

May 28, 2024 / by

Pamela King and Miranda Willson /

E&E News

Betsy Southerland, former Director of the Office of Science and Technology in EPA’s Office of Water, was quoted in E&E News about a case being brought to the Supreme Court by the City of San Francisco, arguing that EPA pollution limits are vague and not specific enough. If successful, the lawsuit would make it difficult to require cities to upgrade sewage systems.

For US Cities in Infrastructure Need, Grant Writers Wanted

June 14, 2024 / by

Patrick Sisson /

Bloomberg

EPN grant support was mentioned in Bloomberg in an article about the billions of dollars of federal funds coming out to support environmental justice and clean energy projects across the country.

EPA Faces ‘Difficult Choices’ With Budget Cut

June 20, 2024 / by

Kevin Bogardus /

E&E News

Stan Meiburg, former EPA Deputy Regional Administrator in Region 4 and Region 6 and Acting EPA Deputy Administrator, was quoted in E&E News about EPA’s challenges of navigating budget cuts while also implementing policy and continuing its core duties.

Read all recent EPN in the News items here.