Legal Lookout: IRIS Redux

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

EPA announced on May 21, 2009, that it has reformed the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). According to the agency, the revisions are intended to 'revitalize the program and ensure its scientific quality, integrity, transparency and timeliness.'

The new administration

In a May 21, 2009, memorandum, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson stated that recent changes, including procedures formalized in an April 21, 2008, memorandum, 'have reduced the transparency, timeliness and scientific integrity of the IRIS process.' According to Jackson, the importance of transparency and scientific integrity in government decision-making 'compelled a rethinking of the IRIS process.' The new process will be managed by EPA. To ensure the scientific quality of IRIS assessments, the process will include the opportunity for public comment and rely on 'a rigorous, open and independent external peer review.'

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