ACC Leads Letter with 40+ Industry Groups Asking Appropriators to Address Challenges with EPA’s IRIS Program

Dear Chairman Merkley, Ranking Member Murkowski, Chairman Simpson, and Ranking Member Pingree:

As you continue work on the Fiscal Year 2025 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill we urge you to address an important issue impacting American jobs and economic competitiveness. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System program (IRIS), which is being used to develop overly burdensome regulations on critical chemistries essential for products we use every day.

IRIS has never been authorized by Congress, yet the chemical assessments it develops are increasingly being used to justify restrictive regulations. Some recent examples include:

  • Formaldehyde Risk Evaluation: A risk evaluation for formaldehyde under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) relies on a flawed draft IRIS value and proposes an unreasonably low workplace standard below background levels.
    • Members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) recently raised serious concerns over EPA’s reliance on IRIS.
  • EPA Air Rules on Ethylene Oxide: This rule affects critical industries like electric vehicles, semiconductor manufacturing, and health care. The rule relies on a deeply flawed IRIS value for ethylene oxide that is 23,000 times lower than naturally occurring levels in the human body.   
  • Biden Administration DOJ Action: An IRIS value for chloroprene was used to justify emergency action seeking to shut down a manufacturing facility under Section 303 of the Clean Air Act.
  • Draft IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic: Finds unsubstantiated risk 54 times lower than the current dose response level. If finalized as drafted, the risk values could be used to drive new regulatory levels for inorganic arsenic that are significantly lower than the background levels of arsenic in soil and water in many states with impacts to soil remediation programs, drinking water standards, crops and other food supplies.

It is essential that regulations be based on the best available science. However, IRIS has often fallen short of that standard. IRIS fails to adequately incorporate all available quality science and consistently utilize a “weight of the scientific evidence” approach. Also, the process IRIS uses to prioritize and select chemicals for assessment that lacks transparency.

In recent years, bipartisan Members of Congress have raised concerns about IRIS, introducing legislation like the Sound Science for Farmers Act (S. 3719) and the No IRIS Act (S. 3724/H.R. 7284). Despite direction from Congress, EPA has not fully implemented recommendations identified by the National Academy of Sciences in 2011 and 2014.

The appropriations process is one of the few opportunities to address the problems with IRIS. Therefore, we ask for you to consider including limitations on the funding for IRIS and report language directing EPA to address significant problems with the program, similar to what was passed in the FY24 House-passed Interior appropriations bill (H.R. 4821).  

We appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you and your staff on this important issue. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


American Chemistry Council

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Fertilizer Institute

Adhesive and Sealant Council

Agricultural Retailers Association

Alliance for Chemical Distribution

American Coatings Association

American Feed Industry Association 

American Forest and Paper Association

American Foundry Society

American Home Furnishings Alliance 

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers


American Petroleum Institute

American Wood Council 

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association 

Communications Cable and Connectivity Association

Composite Panel Association 

Decorative Hardwoods Association 

Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association 

Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association 

Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association 

Institute of Makers of Explosives

International Wood Products Association 

Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association 

Lawn & Horticultural Products Workgroup

Louisiana Chemical Association 

Ohio AgriBusiness Association

National Association of Manufacturers

National Aquaculture Association 

National Funeral Directors Association

National Mining Association

National Wood Flooring Association 

Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society

North Carolina Manufacturers Alliance 

Northwest Aquaculture Alliance 

Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association

Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates 

Steel Founders’ Society of America 

The Toy Association

USA Rice

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