The desire to be 'un-Bush' may be relevant for some programs, but it has led to actions in OPPTS that some believe are without scientific basis or need, such as the atrazine review, since OPPTS was not significantly partisan over the past eight years. Some may dispute that characterization, but the repeated rhetoric about the past 'do-nothing' Bush era may take a significant toll in a number of areas within OPPTS. For example, morale of the career staff, who have been responsible for many decisions and activities during the Bush period, can be expected to suffer. Similarly, chemical and agrochemical manufacturers can be expected to resist the characterization that the past eight years reflect some sort of 'do nothing' mentality, particularly in light of the completion of pesticide reregistration and tolerance review as required by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), an initiative of the Clinton Administration.
Administrator Jackson has often emphasized her priorities, which include chemical reform, environmental justice, and transparency, in speeches and writings since her confirmation last January. We can expect OPPTS initiatives in 2010 to promote these priorities in significant ways.
Administrator Jackson's issuance on December 30, 2009, of new regulatory risk management chemical action plans on certain chemical substances is a reflection of the Administration's commitment to overall domestic chemical management. Our December 31, 2009, memorandum, available online, reviews the action plans in some detail and offers a number of observations regarding the significance of the action plans and their role within the ongoing and broader chemical policy debate. What process is followed in refining the action plans in response to public comment and how these plans are implemented will be a test of Administrator Jackson's commitment to transparency.