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Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA

Citation: 30 ELR 20550
No. Nos. 99-1048, -1049, 210 F.3d 396/50 ERC 1581/(D.C. Cir., 05/05/2000)

The court denies a petition for review of a final determination by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to add 14 solvent wastes to its list of hazardous wastes under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The court first holds that EPA did not clearly err in interpreting its listing regulation to require only that it analyze the toxicity of the solvents, rather than other constituents with which the solvents might be combined. The listing regulation provision relied on by the petitioners simply allows EPA either to evaluate toxic characteristics of the waste as a whole or of the specific constituents within the waste. It does not preclude the possibility that a waste may consist of one constituent, much less that in a particular rulemaking EPA will focus on one constituent. Moreover, EPA made clear that its rulemaking concerns only the toxicity of the solvents. The court also holds that EPA's evaluation of plausible mismanagement scenarios for the solvent isophorone was not flawed. EPA used a reasonable methodology in reaching its conclusion that no wastes from the solvent use of isophorone were, or were likely to be, disposed of in landfills.

Counsel for Petitioners
David R. Case
Environmental Technology Council
734 15th St. NW, Ste. 720, Washington DC 20005
(202) 783-0870

Counsel for Respondent
Norman L. Rave Jr.
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Before Silberman and Randolph, JJ.