Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


EPA Sued Over Lagging Paint-Stripper Ban

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Comment | More

Public health advocates have officially filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to finalize a rule prohibiting the use of methylene chloride.

Groups including Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, Vermont Public Interest Research Group and two families of victims who have died from exposure to methylene chloride filed Jan. 14 in the U.S. District Court of Vermont.

What Happened

The lawsuit was first threatened in November, when the groups notified the EPA of its intent to sue.

Aleksandr Volunkov

Public health advocates have officially filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to finalize a rule prohibiting the use of methylene chloride.

“One life is one too many to have been lost to this deadly chemical,” said Wendy Hartley, whose 21-year-old son died from methylene chloride exposure in April of last year, in a press release at the time.

“We have lost loved ones due to the chemical industry's and the EPA's inaction to ban methylene chloride. Retailers have stepped up to save lives. How many more people will the EPA allow to die before they ban methylene chloride?”

The group refers to the Toxic Substances Control Act, which requires the EPA to regulate chemicals that present an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. In January 2017, the Obama administration determined that methylene chloride places consumers, workers and bystanders at an unreasonable risk of injury and proposed to ban its use in paint strippers.

In May 2018, the EPA promised to finalize that ban, but it didn't take any action until late December, when the EPA sent proposals to the Office of Management and Budget to ban the retail use of the chemical, but not the commercial use, something that has sparked ire from advocates of a total ban.

The Lawsuit

The group is asking the court to finalize the original January 2017 proposed TSCA Section 6 rule, which completely bans the product.

USMC / Cpl. Rubin J. Tan

In May 2018, the EPA promised to finalize that ban, but it didn't take any action until late December, when the EPA sent proposals to the Office of Management and Budget to ban the retail use of the chemical, but not the commercial use, something that has sparked ire from advocates of a total ban.

"At least four deaths occurred after publication of [the] EPA’s proposal," the complaint says. "[The] EPA has thus violated the explicit command in TSCA section 6(a) that it ‘shall’ by rule restrict a chemical determined to present an unreasonable risk of industry, applying such requirements that are ‘necessary so that the chemical substance no longer presents such risk.’”

"This court should direct [the] EPA to perform its duties under TSCA to finalize the [methylene chloride] paint remover ban and remove these dangerous products from commerce without delay," it added.

In the absence of legal finality, several paint companies and box stores have discontinued the manufacturing or sale of products that contain the chemical.

   

Tagged categories: Chemical stripping; EPA; EPA; Health & Safety; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; Methylene chloride; NA; North America

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (1/16/2019, 11:40 AM)

This should get interesting....by the time the lawsuit grinds its way through the courts in a couple of years, the bureaucracy will grind, lurch and stumble its way through the finalization just to have it out a month before the trial wraps up.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.


Advertisements
 
ABKaelin, LLC

 
Modern Safety Techniques

 
KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.

 
Sauereisen, Inc.

 
Fischer Technology Inc.

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us