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News Releases from HeadquartersChemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)

EPA Celebrates 50 Years of Progress in Advancing Chemical Safety Through Science and Innovation

03/09/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (MARCH 9, 2020) - In commemoration of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 50th anniversary, the agency is celebrating progress that has been made in advancing chemical safety throughout the month of March. This week the agency is highlighting the achievements that have been made in advancing chemical safety through science and innovation.

“For the past 50 years, EPA has relied on the bright minds of its career scientists and the country’s inventors, entrepreneurs, academic institutions, and science community to discover new ways to address environmental challenges with remarkable results,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “Looking ahead, EPA will continue to leverage these partnerships to meet tomorrow’s challenges and advance chemical safety for a safer, stronger future.”

Since 1970 EPA has promoted innovation and advanced the science needed to reduce the environmental impacts associated with design, manufacturing, and use of chemicals and spurred the development of environmentally-friendly chemical substitutes. Notable accomplishments include.

Promoting Greener Chemistry: Since 1996, EPA’s Green Chemistry Challenge Awards program has received more than 1,600 nominations for groundbreaking products and processes proven to reduce the environmental impacts associated with design, manufacturing, and use of chemicals. By recognizing greener products and processes, this EPA program has spurred the development of safer chemicals and processes while its award-winning products and processes have helped eliminate the use of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals.

Preventing Pollution Through Innovative Approaches: For 30 years, EPA’s Pollution Prevention (P2) grant program has helped American businesses and communities discover ways to cut waste and pollution prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal—with remarkable results. Since 2011 with the help of EPA’s P2 program, communities and businesses have saved more than $1.5 billion and reduced the use and emissions of almost 600 million tons of hazardous materials. Last week, EPA announced that new grant funding is available through the P2 program.

EPA, under the Trump Administration, has continued to take actions that move innovation and science supporting safer chemicals forward. These actions include:

Moving Newer, Safer Chemicals and Pesticides to Market: Since the 2016 Lautenberg Act’s enactment, EPA has completed more than 2,600 reviews of new chemicals or significant new uses of a chemical, ensuring that modern, innovative chemicals get to market quickly and safely. EPA is also working expeditiously to review and move new, environmentally-friendly biopesticides to the market as well—approving 36 new biopesticide active ingredients since 2017.

Exploring Alternatives to Animal Testing: In response to EPA Administrator Wheeler’s directive to reduce the agency’s reliance on animal testing where possible, last month EPA waived the testing of pesticides on birds when the additional information is unnecessary to support a regulatory decision.

Accelerating the Development of Agricultural Biotechnology Products: At the end of 2019, EPA with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration launched a website that provides information on the actions the federal government is taking to accelerate the development of agricultural biotechnology products, including EPA’s registration of cutting-edge biopesticide products.

For more on EPA’s 50th Anniversary and how the agency is advancing chemical safety, visit: www.epa.gov/50

Follow EPA’s 50th Anniversary celebration on social media using #EPAat50