A recent Center for Progressive Reformreport claims that EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program is “woefully incomplete.” According to the report, EPA is several years behind in meeting statutory requirements for completing profiles of at least 255 chemicals and, as a result, regulatory and enforcement action related to those chemicals has stalled.

The report states that some chemical profiles in IRIS are missing information essential to regulatory action, and that 77 of the hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) listed are missing an assessment of how much of the substance may be safely inhaled. The report claims that 109 chemical profiles, which EPA was required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 to complete by 2008, are included in IRIS but missing critical elements, or are entirely absent from the database.

The report recommends that EPA (i) eliminate the interagency review process during which other federal agencies comment on EPA’s IRIS assessments; (ii) focus more EPA resources on easier-to-assess chemicals rather than high-profile, complex chemicals; (iii) reduce the extent to which outside experts, such as the Science Advisory Board, peer review the assessments; (iv) advocate for adequate IRIS resources and ensure their effective use; and (v) announce these reforms in a public memorandum.