Cleanup Guidelines for Dioxin Withdrawn by EPA

On April 13, 2012, in Dioxin, Environmental, by Maggie Ernst

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew on April 6 its proposed guidelines for cleaning up dioxin-contaminated soil at Superfund sites and other contaminated areas. EPA says other guidelines issued in the meanwhile made them unnecessary.

EPA said that the proposal was no longer necessary based on its recent health assessment of dioxins.  The proposed guidelines would be redundant because cleanups will refer to the agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of non-cancer effects of dioxin release this past February, the agency said.  Dioxin has been a concern among public health advocates who are awaiting the release of EPA’s cancer section of the risk assessment.

Mike Schade of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) said the decision to withdraw the proposal is an “outrage” and raises more questions than it answers. Without the guidelines, cleanup levels will vary from state to state, he said. Schade also pointed his finger at the chemical and food industries, who have strongly opposed EPA’s going forward with dioxin regulations. Environmental groups also condemned EPA’s move to withdraw the cleanup guidelines.