Special Topics in Environmental Management

9th Circuit Asked to Order Lead-Paint Updates

Eight environmental and public health groups have petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to order the EPA to update the federal dust-lead hazard standards and the definition of lead-based paint under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

According to the groups, in 2009, the EPA granted a citizens’ petition requesting a rulemaking to revise the standards. “Seven years later, the Agency has yet to issue a rule, leaving hundreds of thousands of families across the country uninformed and exposed to the leaded dust and paint that may be present in their homes,” state the groups in their petition to the court.

The petitioners allege that EPA’s nonaction is a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). That statute directs federal agencies to “within a reasonable time … conclude a matter presented to it.” The groups specifically ask that the 9th Circuit order the Agency to propose to update the dust-lead hazard standard and the definition of lead-based paint under TSCA within 90 days and to finalize the rule within 6 months.

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