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White House Blocking EPA Efforts to Issue Rules on Nanomaterials, Advocates Say

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The White House appears to be blocking Environmental Protection Agency efforts to tighten oversight of engineered nanoscale pesticides and other chemicals, according to environmental and safety advocates.

Richard Denison, a senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, told BNA May 23 that he has spoken with EPA officials who have told him they do not expect any regulations for engineered nanoscale pesticides or chemicals to be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

"My understanding is that there is a view in some circles in the White House that they do not want to stigmatize nanomaterials nor stifle the technology even by requiring the reporting of information that EPA needs to make judgments as to whether there are risks," Denison said.

Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, said he believes OMB will not approve the agency's preferred approach to collect data on nanoscale pesticide ingredients under Section 6(a)(2) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

"I am of the opinion that OMB has basically told the EPA, 'Don't bother' " with a final rule, Hanson said.