2.18.2019: ADAO et al. vs Andrew Wheeler and the EPA 

9.22.2020: ADAO et al. vs Andrew Wheeler and the EPA

Updated on November 1, 2020

On November 12 at 1:30 pm PST there will be an important hearing in the suit filed by ADAO and other organizations to compel EPA to require asbestos reporting under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The parties will be presenting their positions to Judge Chen of the US District Court for the Northern District of California. We expect the Judge to issue his decision shortly after the hearing. ADAO will be represented by its counsel, Robert Sussman. The California Attorney General’s office will represent the 13 states and the District of Columbia who, like ADAO, petitioned EPA to require reporting on asbestos use and exposure under TSCA. EPA will be represented by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Although the issues are complex, we are confident in our legal position and optimistic about a successful outcome. Already, ADAO has achieved significant progress. After initially opposing the standing to sue of ADAO and its co-plaintiffs, EPA has now agreed that we have standing. This admission follows strong declarations submitted by ADAO and our co-plaintiff the American Public Health Association (APHA) demonstrating our commitment to preventing asbestos exposure and the many ways we will use reported information on ongoing asbestos use and exposure to protect public health and advocate stringent regulation of asbestos. We expect Judge Chen to accept EPA’s recognition of our standing. While each case is different, this is an important step forward and will strengthen our position in this case and future litigation in which ADAO and APHA are parties.

Posted on September 24, 2020

In February 2019, ADAO filed suit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) denial of its Right to Know Petition. This petition would expand the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements to provide EPA with reliable information on asbestos use and exposure to inform its asbestos risk evaluation under the Toxic Controlled Substances Act (TSCA).  

Yesterday, ADAO submitted a brief demonstrating that EPA’s basis for refusing to require asbestos reporting is hollow and ignores holes in EPA’s risk evaluation that its own scientists and independent advisors have acknowledged is deeply flawed. 

It is abundantly clear that EPA is working overtime to resist the logical and essential path we outlined in our section 21 petition to obtain critical information on asbestos risk and exposure. 

Americans deserve to know where asbestos is being imported and used in our country. We are filing suit to demand that EPA require companies importing and using asbestos to report to the EPA where the asbestos is going. Without an asbestos ban, both raw asbestos and asbestos-contaminated products enter our country without responsibility or accountability. 

ADAO isn’t alone in this fight. This legal action has the support of five co-plaintiffs which include: the American Public Health Association (APHA), Center for Environmental Health (CEH), Environmental Health Strategies Center (EHSC), Environmental Working Group (EWG), and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

“We filed a strong opposition to EPA’s brief, which demonstrates yet again the compelling need for EPA to require industry to report on asbestos use and exposure under TSCA,” said Robert M. Sussman, ADAO Counsel.

Twelve Attorneys’ General from California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia are also co-petitioning with ADAO. 

Judge Chen will hear arguments on the pending motions in this case on November 12, 2020.

It is time for EPA to take accountability and responsibility and protect the public health of all Americans. We must ban asbestos and stop the loss of nearly 40,000 Americans  taken from us each year by this lethal carcinogen.

Linda Reinstein

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