(Westlaw Today – Reuters) Enviros to EPA: Use novel power to get industry to pay for PFAS research.
Public health and environmental groups in a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court say the Environmental Protection Agency should utilize its untapped power under section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to order a chemical company to subsidize health studies on 54 undertested PFAS substances.
The Center for Environmental Health, Cape Fear River Watch and others on Wednesday sued the EPA over its denial of their petition seeking that it order The Chemours Company to fund studies on the effects on animals, humans and the environment of 54 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that its North Carolina Fayetteville Works facility manufactures.
PFAS, a family of manmade chemical compounds, have been used for decades to make nonstick coatings such as Teflon and are associated with serious health risks. PFAS, nicknamed ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down easily, have sparked numerous lawsuits against its manufacturers.
The groups say that section 4 of the TSCA authorizes the EPA to require industry to test for the effects on health and the environment of existing chemicals that may present unreasonable risks, and for which information is lacking to evaluate effects.
The plaintiffs say that they are concerned about contamination from 54 types of PFAS that have been detected in the drinking water, blood and produce of residents of the Cape Fear region. Fayetteville Works’ 2,150-acre site is located near the region’s Cape Fear River and is a “major producer and user of PFAS,” the complaint says.
The case is Center for Environmental Health et al v. Nishida et al, U.S. District Court for the California Northern District, No. 3:21-cv-01535. For Center for Environmental Health et al: Robert Sussman of Sussman & Associates and Michael Connett of Waters, Kraus & Paul.