Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sen. John Kennedy Introduces Legislation to Safeguard America’s Chemical Industry from Regulatory Overreach

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) has taken a stand against what he perceives as undue regulations on America’s chemical industry. In response to concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of data from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) to create regulations, Senator Kennedy introduced the No Industrial Restrictions In Secret Act (No IRIS Act).

According to a press release from Kennedy, the primary aim of the No IRIS Act is to prevent the EPA from utilizing IRIS data to formulate rules that could adversely impact the chemical manufacturing sector in the United States.

“The Biden White House is using the EPA’s IRIS to create more red tape for America’s chemical manufacturers, and it is crushing the industry. The No IRIS Act would ensure that unelected bureaucrats do not abuse the IRIS to implement rules that kill Louisiana jobs and hurt our economy without congressional approval,” emphasized Senator Kennedy.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) is leading the companion legislation in the House of Representatives, reflecting a bipartisan effort to address concerns related to the IRIS program.

Chris Jahn, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, expressed support for the legislation, noting the essential role of the chemical industry in driving American innovation across various sectors.

“Chemistry is the driving force behind American innovation. Computer chips, modern healthcare, housing, infrastructure, agriculture, and energy are all made possible by America’s chemical industry. Unfortunately, the EPA’s IRIS program puts many critical chemistries in jeopardy,” said Jahn. He also commended Senator Kennedy for introducing the legislation, emphasizing the need for sound science to protect America’s ability to compete and innovate.

The No IRIS Act seeks to prohibit the federal government from relying on IRIS data to inform rulemakings unless explicit authorization is granted by Congress. The lack of statutory authorization for the IRIS program has raised concerns about potential regulatory overreach without proper Congressional oversight.

Key points regarding the No IRIS Act:

  • The IRIS program was established by the EPA in 1985 to collect data on how chemicals impact human health.
  • The program currently lacks statutory authorization, allowing unelected EPA officials to potentially misuse it without adequate Congressional supervision.
  • Under the Biden administration, the IRIS has been criticized for utilizing unscientific methods that could have adverse effects on American businesses.

In Louisiana alone, chemical manufacturers contribute significantly to the economy, supporting over $3.6 billion in economic activity and providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

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