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GLIN==> OMB Bulletin on Risk Assessment

For Immediate Release                                                                                     Contact: Alisha Prather, 202.225.6375
January 11, 2007                                               
Chairmen Agree - OMB Bulletin "Fundamentally Flawed"
(Washington, DC)  Last May, House Chairmen Bart Gordon (D-TN, Science & Technology), John D. Dingell (D-MI, Energy & Commerce), Henry A. Waxman (D-CA, Oversight & Government Reform), and James Oberstar (D-MN, Transportation & Infrastructure) wrote to the National Academy of Sciences when they initiated their review of the White House Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Proposed Risk Assessment Bulletin. 
The four Chairmen urged the NAS to either expand the scope of their review to address policy and funding issues in addition to the scientific issues raised by the Bulletin - or to clearly define the scope of their review.
On the basis of their scientific review, the NAS committee concluded unanimously today that the OMB Bulletin is "fundamentally flawed" and the committee recommended that OMB withdraw the Bulletin.
Chairmen offered comment today on the NAS report issued by the National Research Council:
"OMB overstepped its authority and expertise by issuing this Bulletin.  Congress has repeatedly rejected one-size-fits all approaches to developing scientific and technical information and now it has been rejected by the experts at NAS as well.  OMB should withdraw this Bulletin promptly and abandon its attempts to micromanage agencies' work," said Chairman Gordon.
"OMB should follow NAS's recommendation and abandon its costly requirement for superfluous analysis that ignores the specific statutory directives Congress gave the agencies," said Chairman Dingell.
"This White House initiative jeopardizes the agencies' ability to develop science-based policies that protect human health and the environment.  The National Academy report is a stringent rebuke, and I urge the Bush Administration to withdraw this fundamentally flawed proposal," said Chairman Waxman
Also commenting on the matter, Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials Chairman Albert Wynn (D-MD) said, "I am deeply troubled by the affect that OMB's proposed risk assessment analysis would have on our most vulnerable and disadvantaged constituents.   I agree with the NAS's assessment that the OMB's proposed changes to risk assessment analysis would enable agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency to ignore the needs of certain segments of the population such as infants, children, the elderly, low income and minority communities.  These are the communities most affected by hazardous waste and disposal issues and these are the communities that need the safeguards of environmental laws the most.  We must ensure that they receive all the protection they are entitled to under the law."

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