Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Citizens for a Better Env't v. Thomas

Citation: 19 ELR 20715
No. No. 85 C 8000, 704 F. Supp. 149/28 ERC 1841/(N.D. Ill., 01/10/1989)

The court holds that Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) §21 is constitutional, authorizing a court to order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to initiate rulemaking under TSCA §4, but not authorizing a court to order EPA to promulgate a rule. TSCA §21 allows citizens to petition EPA for rulemaking under TSCA §§4, 5, 6, and 8, and provides for de novo review of EPA's denial of a petition; TSCA §4 authorizes EPA to promulgate rules requiring testing of chemicals. The court holds that TSCA §21 does not unconstitutionally intrude on executive branch authority. A court order to initiate rulemaking proceedings does not require EPA actually to adopt rules. Only EPA, not the court, has the power to make the findings needed under TSCA §4 to promulgate rules.

[TSCA §21 petitions are analyzed in Ginsburg, TSCA's Unfulfilled Mandate for Comprehensive Regulation of Toxic Substances — The Potential of TSCA §21 Citizens' Petitions, 16 ELR 10330 (1986).]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Steven A. Salzman
Schmidt & Salzman
111 W. Washington St., Chicago IL 60602
(312) 263-7100

James T. Harrington
Ross & Hardies
Ste. 2500, 150 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60601
(312) 558-1000

Counsel for Defendant
Linda A. Wawzenski, Andrew Gordon
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St. SW, Washington DC 20460
(202) 382-2090

Jean A. Kingrey
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2000