The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it had cleared a seven-month backlog of 600 reviews of new chemicals that had been in place since February.
"I am happy to report that the backlog of new chemical reviews is eliminated," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The agency's goal "is to ensure a new chemicals program that is both protective of human health and the environment, while also being supportive of bringing new chemicals to market."
Pruitt committed the agency to making the chemical review process more transparent and predictable.
"Not only do I support reducing the backlogs that have built up at this agency, I also encourage continuous improvement and increased transparency," Pruitt said.
The prompt review of new chemicals is called for by the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was updated in 2016 through the passage of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.
"EPA can either be a roadblock to new products, or it can be supporter of innovation and ever-improving chemical safety," Pruitt said. "EPA has a tremendous responsibility to review new chemicals intended to enter the U.S. market for safety," he said.