US government report criticises EPA endocrine program.

OIG study questions process and structure of EDSP

06-May-2011

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has raised significant concerns regarding the progress and structure of the agency’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). In a new report, the OIG concluded that the EDSP has made little progress in identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals and requires significant changes in management control for future success.

The OIG assessment, carried out between December 2009 and February 2011, reviewed key EPA documents and discussed the programme with representatives from EDSP and other government, industry and academic institutions to evaluate the success of the programme in planning and conducting the requisite research and testing to evaluate and regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

The report concludes the EDSP has to date failed to determine whether any chemical is a potential endocrine disruptor, despite fourteen years since the passage of legislation giving EPA the authority to screen and test substances and twelve years since the formation of the EDSP. The programme has also missed important milestones for assay validation and chemical selection established by the 2001 Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) settlement agreement by between four and a half and six years. The OIG argues the programme’s shortcomings lie in its failure to develop a management plan or established outcome performance measures to track its results.

Whilst acknowledging the difficulties involved in establishing an effective endocrine disruptor screening and testing programme, the OIG report is highly critical of the EDSP for its failings, including a lack of a final statement of policy, and the inability to finalise specific procedures to evaluate tier 1 screening results, or establish specific procedures to evaluate tier 2 testing results.

The document makes detailed recommendations for the programme concerning the development and implementation of plans and performance measures to establish management control and accountability.

Read original post in ChemWatch and link to the full OIG report.