Erik Baptist Comments on Potential TSCA Review Related to Water-Fluoridation Lawsuit
Erik C. Baptist, a partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted in a June 17 Bloomberg Law article about the postponement of proceedings of a landmark water-fluoridation lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen in the Northern District of California postponed proceedings following a two-week trial over health advocates’ concerns that fluoride is a neurotoxin and request that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibit it from being added to drinking water, Bloomberg Law reported.
After the EPA denied a 2016 petition to regulate fluoride, the agency was sued. After the complaint was filed, however, new data began emerging about fluoride’s health effects, according to Bloomberg. In light of the new information, Judge Chen suggested either a new petition be filed, or the agency reconsider the prior petition.
Because there is no mechanism under TSCA to re-review a previously denied petition, the EPA would have only 90 days to review if the plaintiffs filed a new petition.
Mr. Baptist – who previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Law and Policy in the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention – said that the 90-day deadline is a tough one for the agency to meet.
“It’s a very difficult position that Congress put EPA in, given EPA’s resources,” Mr. Baptist said.
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