US EPA Blames Obama Administration For Asbestos Plan

20:41  09 august  2018
20:41  09 august  2018 Source:   newsweek.com

Trump Plan: Consumers Could Keep Short-Term Health Plan Skirting Federal Rules

  Trump Plan: Consumers Could Keep Short-Term Health Plan Skirting Federal Rules The Trump administration on Wednesday moved to finalize a rule that would let consumers maintain a short-term health insurance plan that skirts federal rules for just under a year, a step officials say will provide more affordable insurance options to more Americans.The rule, which will be prepared Wednesday for publication in the Federal Register, is part of the administration's effort to allow people to purchase health care plans that don't comply with all of the regulations set by the 2010 health care law , and are typically less expensive than plans sold in the individual market exchanges.

The Trump administration 's Environmental Protection Agency appears to have blamed the Obama administration for failing to put regulations in place that would stop the current government's plan to allow "new uses" for asbestos in the manufacturing industry.

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). EPA Asbestos -Related Laws. AHERA also tasked EPA with developing a model plan for states for accrediting persons conducting asbestos inspection and corrective-action activities at schools.

a yellow sign© Provided by IBT Media

The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency appears to have blamed the Obama administration for failing to put regulations in place that would stop the current government's plan to allow "new uses" for asbestos in the manufacturing industry.

In a fact sheet published online by the EPA on Wednesday after the agency faced backlash over its plans to potentially create more opportunities for asbestos use, the agency said the Obama administration could have introduced restrictions on new uses for asbestos, but chose not to.

"Did the Obama administration have the opportunity to propose to restrict new uses of asbestos and did they propose any action?" the EPA asked in its "frequently asked questions" page.

Trump's EPA formally launches attack on California's fuel-economy rules

  Trump's EPA formally launches attack on California's fuel-economy rules The Trump administration Thursday pushed ahead with plans to unravel the federal government's most effective action to fight climate change -- aggressive fuel economy standards aimed at getting the nation's cars and trucks to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. After months of discussion and drafts, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration formally unveiled their plan to rewrite those rules and replace them with ones so lax even automakers are wary.

On the last day of the Obama Administration , in a now-vanished press release, the EPA announced ten toxic chemicals that would be the first to be reevaluated under the revised TSCA. Asbestos was one of them.

US EPA . United States Environmental Protection Agency . Training for asbestos professionals is required under the EPA Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) which EPA issued under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA).

"Yes, they had the opportunity to propose restrictions on new uses," the agency said. "No, they did not propose any action," it added.

While it is true that the Obama administration did not introduce restrictions on new uses for asbestos, the Trump administration's recent proposal represents a dramatic pivot away from the direction that the Obama administration appeared to be moving in when it sought to strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), making what was recognized by the EPA as the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years.

The TSCA was first passed in 1976 "to help keep dangerous chemicals off the market and avoid making people sick," according to the EPA.

A press release put out by the agency on June 22, 2016, the day that then-President Barack Obama signed the bipartisan bill to reform the TSCA, said that while the original law's intent "was spot-on, it fell far short of giving EPA the authority [it] needed to get the job done."

States threaten showdown over White House auto emissions plan

  States threaten showdown over White House auto emissions plan The Trump administration proposed weakening Obama-era federal fuel efficiency standards on Thursday and moved to revoke California's authority to set its own strict tailpipe emissions rules, setting up what will likely be a protracted legal battle between the federal government and U.S. states. Some 19 states, including California, and Washington D.C. announced they intend to sue the administration to halt the rollback, which the Trump administration billed as a way to lower vehicle prices for consumers, but which critics said would accelerate climate change and hike pump prices.

This review process would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of asbestos and, when necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the use. The TSCA is currently undergoing a major overhaul that began under the Obama administration

The Obama Administration was the executive branch of the federal government under Democrat President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. It began on January 20, 2009 for a term of four years, and then for a second four-year term that ended on January 20, 2017.

Obama's EPA held up the fact that the use of asbestos was still permitted in the U.S., despite the dangerous substance being banned in most industrialized countries around the world, as a clear example of how the TSCA left American families "vulnerable."

"Forty years after TSCA was enacted, there are still tens of thousands of chemicals on the market that have never been evaluated for safety, because TSCA didn’t require it. And the original law set analytical requirements that were nearly impossible to meet, leaving EPA’s hands tied–even when the science demanded action on certain chemicals," the EPA said at the time.

It asserted that "the dangers of inaction were never more stark than in the case of asbestos, a chemical known to cause cancer through decades of research," noting that the first Bush administration had tried to ban asbestos under the TSCA law, but the rule was overturned in court.

Michelle Obama announces week of action to register new voters

  Michelle Obama announces week of action to register new voters Former first lady Michelle Obama on Monday announced she will "hit the road" in late September as part of a week of action to bolster voter registration ahead of this year's midterm elections.Load Error

On October 12, 2016, President Obama ’s Executive Office published two reports that laid out its plans for the future of artificial intelligence (AI). The Obama administration clearly sees AI as an urgent priority.

The Obama administration said only five chemicals had been banned out of the 62,000 chemicals in existence in 1976. For good measure, the Pruitt EPA said the exclusions include " asbestos -containing materials that remain in older buildings."

Lamenting the old TSCA's inability to see even asbestos banned, Obama had said: "The system was so complex, it was so burdensome that our country hasn't even been able to uphold a ban on asbestos."

Under Trump's EPA, the bid to ban asbestos appears to have been all but forgotten.

On June 1, the EPA announced its proposed framework seeking to create opportunities for "new uses" of asbestos with the agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics announcing plans for a "Significant New Use Rule" (SNUR) for the substance.

Read more: Is the Trump administration allowing asbestos back into the manufacturing industry?

SNURs are used to indicate the EPA's approval of a chemical being used in a significantly new way that "might create concerns," according to the government agency's website.

In May, the EPA also announced plans for a new approach for evaluating proposed "new uses" of asbestos, which was laid out in a document called the "Problem Formulation of the Risk Evaluation of Asbestos."

In its proposal, the agency made clear that its approach will not include consulting pre-existing information on the use of asbestos, despite the fact that its health risks as a carcinogenic substance have been widely documented.

HHS backs off plan to cut funding for certain teen pregnancy prevention groups

  HHS backs off plan to cut funding for certain teen pregnancy prevention groups The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday said it will resume grants for groups working to prevent teen pregnancies, a reversal from last year's announcement that it would end funding two years earlier than expected. An agency spokesperson told The Hill that HHS will continue grant funding this year for groups participating in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Several federal judges have ruled against HHS for its plan to end the five-year grants, which began in 2015, after three years.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is moving to scrap the Clean Power Plan , the Obama administration 's signature regulatory program to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants.

On July 30, 2014, the House voted 225 to 201 in favor of a resolution to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration . The lawsuit challenged the delay of the ACA's employer mandate and the administration 's payment of subsidies to insurers for providing a reduced cost burden to low-income

According to Asbestos Nation, an organization aiming to raise awareness of the health risks of asbestos, as many as 12,000 to 15,000 people in the U.S. die as a result of exposure to the substance each year.

Exposure to asbestos has been linked to a number of serious and fatal diseases, including mesothelioma (a cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and the lining of the lower digestive tract), asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis (a condition resulting in scarring of the lungs) and others.

In the EPA's fact sheet, the agency states that while its new use rule creates a system for approving new uses of asbestos products, it also effectively "broadens...restrictions on asbestos products."

a group of people standing in front of a box© Provided by IBT Media

"EPA is proposing to ensure that manufacture, import or processing for the currently unregulated new uses identified in the SNUR are prohibited unless reviewed by EPA," the agency states. "EPA's proposed new review process empowers EPA to take action, including prohibiting or limiting its intended use."

Asked why the EPA opted to put forward a plan that will create opportunities for "new uses" of asbestos, rather than proposing tighter restrictions altogether, EPA spokesperson Ernesta Jones referred Newsweek to the agency's fact sheet.

Ben Carson moves to roll back Obama-era fair housing rule

  Ben Carson moves to roll back Obama-era fair housing rule Housing advocates warn the move will lead to communities to "willfully blinding" themselves to patterns of segregation.Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is taking new steps to roll back an Obama-era rule intended to combat housing segregation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) will propose repealing the Clean Power Plan — the set of regulations put into place by the Obama administration to severely limit the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that power plants can release into the atmosphere.

US EPA . United States Environmental Protection Agency . Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require that employers with employees engaged in asbestos -related work retain

While the FAQ sheet does not answer that question directly, it does touch on questions around the U.S.'s importing of asbestos from Russia.

The fact that Russia is one of the U.S.'s biggest providers of asbestos recently came under scrutiny after Russian mining giant Uralasbest started stamping pallets of its asbestos products with seals of the U.S. president's face, along with the words: "Approved by Donald Trump."

Read more: Trump's Face Stamped on Russian Asbestos Products Tied to Putin: 'Donald Is On Our Side!'

According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, the U.S. chemical industry had spent $500,000 importing nearly 260 tons of asbestos from Russia and Brazil from January to April of this year–a number that was four times greater than that brought in during the same time period in 2017.

"Does the EPA allow the import of asbestos from Russia?" the fact sheet asks, before answering the question with: "EPA cannot simply ban imports, regardless of their source, for current uses unless its ongoing evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act identifies unreasonable risk associated with such importation."

The agency added that its SNUR, "when final, would prevent import, including from Russia and anywhere else for the uses in the rule," assumedly unless such uses receive approval.

Trump’s Plan for Coal Emissions: Let Coal States Regulate Them .
President Trump is planning an overhaul of climate regulations that lets states set their own rules, according to people who have seen the proposal. Environmentalists say emissions could rise.Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!