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A Community Voice v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20085
Nos. 19-71930, (9th Cir., 05/14/2021)

The Ninth Circuit remanded, 2-1, a rule EPA promulgated in 2019 in response to the court's 2017 writ of mandamus directing the Agency to respond to the need for updated lead-based paint hazard standards. Nonprofit groups argued the rule violated provisions of the the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazardous Reduction Act, codified in Title IV of TSCA, and the court's rulings in the writ. The court found that the rule lowered the lead hazard level for the dust-lead health standards, but not to a level sufficient to protect health as Congress directed because EPA looked to other factors in addition to health risks. It further found that EPA violated TSCA by failing to update the lead-based paint definition and the soil-based hazard standards despite mounting evidence of lead-based paint dangers and undisputed evidence that there is no safe level of lead exposure. It therefore remanded the rule without vacatur, and directed EPA to reconsider the dust-lead health standards and update the definition of lead-based paint and soil-lead hazard standards.