Mr. Shmeckel and Formaldehyde

From the Washington Post:

The Bush administration has changed Environmental Protection Agency reviews of chemicals in a way that will delay scientific assessments of their health risks and open the process to politicization, congressional investigators said yesterday.

In a new report and in testimony on Capitol Hill, officials with the Government Accountability Office criticized a White House policy that began this month to allow the Office of Management and Budget and other agencies to offer secret input on assessments of long-term exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde.

Original DVD cover.

The reviews, which use the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), are an important step in an already backlogged process, GAO officials said. Regulators need to know if exposure to a chemical is likely to cause cancer or other health problems before they can decide whether and how to limit its use, they said.


EPA officials insisted that the change will make the risk assessment process even more accessible to the scientific community by drawing on outside expertise.

Agencies such as the Defense and Energy departments will now be able to submit comments, scientific studies and requests for further research. This could prolong by months or years the review of certain chemicals.


[John B. Stephenson, the GAO’s director of natural resources and environmental issues] said that an even larger concern is that the OMB has deemed the input “deliberative,” which keeps it secret from the public and shielded from scientific debate. That makes it impossible to see whether agencies are acting in the interest of science or for less noble reasons.


“You can’t have an administration that talks ‘sound science’ on the one hand and then breaks one of its principles in the scientific assessment process.”

Even before the changes, the EPA had been way behind schedule in chemical risk assessments, the GAO found. Of 70 reviews being done in December, 48 had been ongoing for more than five years, including 12 that had taken more than nine years. Although the EPA’s goal is to complete 50 assessments each year, it finished only four total in 2006 and 2007, Stephenson said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the integrity of the program is in jeopardy.


Richard Wiles, executive director of the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, said the EPA process has become a “bureaucratic quagmire” in which political considerations often trump public health concerns.

“With these rules in place, it’s now official: The Bush White House is where all good public health protections go to die,” he said.

Don’t forget, kids, if it’s Wednesday, it’s time to take it to the Street!


Filed under Barbara Boxer, Chimpy, Congress, Defense Department, Environment, Environment and Public Works Committee, GAO, George W. Bush, humor, movies, Office of Management and Budget, parody, politics, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

9 responses to “Mr. Shmeckel and Formaldehyde

  1. Friend of the court

    The Chimp is protecting us and our families, from the evils of regulating industries. It’s hard work.

  2. Got a Grip

    I know I feel safer now, fotc. How about you? πŸ˜‰

  3. but….but….but….what do you think of the title of the diary? it made me laugh, but that’s not saying much.

  4. Friend of the court

    I like the title, very much. It is fitting, that you did not call the Chimp, “Dr. Shmeckel”. I saw a clip, from a press conference, a few minutes ago. That dork gets more pissie by the day.

  5. i would never call chimpy doctor anything. that implies some kind of knowledge or dedication to learning and mastering something. we know that has nothing to do with chimpy.

  6. jlms qkw - jenn

    nonnie9999, you are the most hystericalest raisin evah!

    digging up the news that i miss, and illustrating it memorably.

  7. Got a Grip

    I loved the title, nons. And chimpy has found his element there, creepy little frat boy that he is.

    It occurred to me that if we’re really talking about formaldehyde, we’re talking Cheney and Captain Underpants. I’m pretty sure they’re both the undead, with formaldehyde in their veins and cyborg parts throughout their repellent bodies.

    Chimpy isn’t one of the undead, he’s just the biggest idiot ever.

  8. hey jenn! πŸ˜€
    i figured i would do a poster on a story that most people didn’t read about but was important.
    yeah, right, that’s what i am here for–educational purposes! πŸ˜‰

  9. thanks, gotta, πŸ™‚
    i was very proud of the title. glad that other people get my stupid little puns.
    chimpy looks quite natural, doesn’t he? i bet that when he is alone in the white house, he sits on his bed, rubs his hands together, and cackles evilly. he doesn’t understand what he is doing; he is just copying uncle dick.