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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