Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) have filed suit for review of EPA’s Risk Evaluation and Prioritization Rules promulgated under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Both rules were required by Section 6 of the amended statute. The final rules were released by EPA on June 22, 2017. The Safer Chemicals Healthy Families petitions challenge the Risk Evaluation and Prioritization Rules as arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law; in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations; and without observance of procedure required by law.
EDF filed suit on August 11, 2017 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; ANHE et al filed suit on August 11, 2017 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families et al filed suit on August 10, 2017 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Safer Chemicals Health Families was joined on its petition by a number of groups including Environmental Working Group, Union of Concerned Scientists and AFL-CIO. ANHE was joined on its petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NGOs did not file a Motion for Stay to prevent EPA from moving forward in implementing the Risk Evaluation and Prioritization Rules while the petitions are under review.
Additional insight into the petitioners’ concerns can be found in their statements regarding the final rules and the litigation. EDF has said that it believes the final risk evaluation rule improperly narrows conditions of use by not including all conditions of use in the risk evaluation. NRDC expressed concern that the risk evaluation rule introduces loopholes that could lead to incomplete analysis, which could lead EPA to conclude that a chemical doesn’t pose a health or environmental risk when it actually does. Regarding the prioritization rule, EDF asserts that the final rule describes an information-gathering process that seeks to minimize and undermine EPA’s use of the new testing authorities available to the agency under section 4.
EPA has not commented on the litigation.