VPIRG Joins Lawsuit Against EPA Over Implementation Of Chemical Law

Aug 14, 2017

A Vermont environmental advocacy group is joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the agency's implementation of a law to evaluate potentially toxic chemicals.

The law was signed last year by former President Barack Obama. The EPA finalized several rules related to the law earlier this summer. Part of one rule allows the agency to determine which specific uses of a chemical should be evaluated for risks.

Johanna de Graffenreid with the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) argues the EPA should evaluate the risks for all uses of a chemical.

"As it stands now, the EPA will be able to cherry-pick which uses, and therefore which communities and which parts of our community, will be reviewed," de Graffenreid says. "That's not appropriate. We should be looking at all of the uses of a chemical and determining how toxic it is, not cherry-picking different ways in which a chemical might be used."

In announcing the new rules earlier this year, the EPA said evaluating specific uses of a chemical will ensure the Agency's resources are "focused on those uses that may pose the greatest risk."

VPIRG joined a coalition of groups in suing the agency. The suit was filed last Friday in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.