Toxic Substances

Statutes of Limitations, Statutes of Repose, and Latent Harms

A warning sign posted outside the CTS property.  Credit: Jeremy P. Jacobs.

Can plaintiffs harmed years after exposure to toxic substances seek relief?

You may not have heard of CTS Corp. v. Waldburger.  At a glance, it is relatively unremarkable, a private nuisance suit between landowners and a retired manufacturing facility.  Much of the work on the plaintiffs’ side has been handled by students.  In a sense, the case hasn’t even begun yet—a judge found that the plaintiffs waited […]

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An Ounce of Prevention

BenFranklinDuplessis

Can inherently safer technology save us from chemical accidents and terrorists?

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Franklin’s comment, originally made in reference to home fire safety, is characteristically timeless.  Today, many are looking to the principle of prevention as a way to reduce the incidence and severity of chemical plant disasters. The threat of chemical disaster […]

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Calfiornia Bans Lead Ammunition

New Law Is Welcome, But Probably Won't Take Full Effect Until 2019

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will ban the use of lead ammunition in California by hunters. In approving AB 711 (Rendon), Brown withstood furious lobbying efforts by the National Rifle Association and some (but not all) hunting organizations, who had urged the Governor to veto the legislation. AB 711 was supported by […]

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Happy Birthday, TSCA!

With the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) celebrating its 37th birthday today, I was thinking what we should get it as a birthday gift.  Here’s one idea; how about a little respect.  I’ve blogged before about how the statute has become one of the most denigrated environmental laws on the books.  It seems that every […]

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A new treaty on global mercury: not much, but better than nothing

Mercury-in-petridish-300x192

Next week in Japan, an international diplomatic meeting will sign and adopt a new environmental treaty, the Minamata Convention on Mercury Pollution, which was finalized in negotiations earlier this year. In its name – and in locating the conference in Minamata and the nearby city of Kumamoto, in Kyushu– the convention commemorates the victims of […]

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New Chemical Regulations Go Live in California

Making Prevention Real?

Today, after years of discussions and drafts, California’s new Safer Consumer Product regulations take effect.  They create a comprehensive chemicals regulatory scheme having three steps: identification and prioritization of consumer products containing chemicals of greatest concern (“product-chemical combinations”); performance of “alternative analyses” by the manufacturers of those high priority product-chemical combinations; and selection of regulatory responses […]

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EPA Set to Release New Mercury and Air Toxics Regulations

Later this afternoon – at 2pm ET -  EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson is expected to announce EPA’s new regulations on mercury and toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants. EPA is developing the air toxics emissions standards for power plants under the Clean Air Act (Section 112), consistent with the D.C. Circuit’s opinion (PDF) regarding […]

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