In a striking turn of events, last night the Senate passed a newly revised version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in four decades. A summary of the bill’s provisions and analysis of the differences between […]
EPA’s pesticide registration efforts trigger forceful response
Judge McKeown of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently wrote of the EPA, “Although filibustering may be a venerable tradition in the United States Senate, it is frowned upon in administrative agencies tasked with protecting human health.” Yikes. What did the EPA do to elicit such a reaction from a federal judge? The short […]
Chemical Used in Teflon Linked to Numerous Health Problems, but its Use is Still Legal Under TSCA
Yesterday, a jury in the Southern District of Ohio found DuPont liable for a woman’s kidney cancer in the first of 3,500 suits the company faces. The cases all stem from DuPont’s use and disposal of perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) or C8. The chemical is used to make Teflon, among other things, and the most recent […]
The opinion seems likely to have very limited repercussions.
In bringing the mercury rule to the Supreme Court, industry was hoping for a ruling that EPA had to balance costs and benefits (and could only include benefits relating to mercury). What they got was far less than that. Here, I’d like to address some key questions about the opinion. 1. When does EPA have […]
This was not a great decision for EPA, but it could have been much worse.
The Court has just now decided the Michigan case, involving EPA’s mercury regulation. As Ann Carlson explained in an earlier post, a lot was at stake in the case. The Court ruled 5-4 against EPA. This passage seems to be key to the Court’s reasoning: One would not say that it is even rational, never mind […]
One woman’s search for a toxics-free couch in California
A year and a half ago, I found myself in a position that has caused so many people to rethink the world around them: impending parenthood. One of the many changes I decided to make in advance of welcoming our little bundle of joy was to procure a couch without flame retardants. Flame retardants have […]
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups. And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever. […]
Reform of the federal chemicals statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is in the news again. It got me wondering, are we are better off with the devil we know? In a legislative era characterized by harsh partisanship and excruciating deadlocks, there are signs that TSCA reform could be a rare example of cooperation […]
EPA will improve new disposal sites for coal ash, but will have limited effect on old ones.
Exactly six years ago today, a dike ruptured near Kingston, Tennessee, dumping into the Clinch River some 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry — or to use the more technical term, coal combustion residue. Last Friday, EPA issued a new regulation to deal with the issue. The rule is intended to protect groundwater from leaching from the ponds, […]
Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert. in several cases to hear the following question: “Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.” The fundamental issue is whether it was unreasonable for EPA to interpret section 112 to preclude consideration […]