Thursday, December 14, 2017

Environmental groups sue EPA, allege lax chemical-discharge oversight

The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), People Concerned About Chemical Safety (PCACS) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday, alleging that the agency for decades has failed to prevent and contain the discharge of hazardous chemicals from thousands of industrial facilities nationwide.

“For more than four decades, EPA has failed to comply with a legal requirement under the Clean Water Act to issue regulations that would protect the public from hazardous-substances spills from industrial facilities,” NRDC Health and Environment Program Director Erik Olson said. “It is long overdue in addressing this health and environmental threat, and injustice.’’

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and aims to require the EPA to better regulate facilities over hazardous-substance spills. The EJHA, PCACS and NRDC cited a particular need to protect low-income communities and areas with a high percentage of people of color, both of which traditionally contain disproportionate numbers of facilities that produce hazardous waste.

“We need strong prevention regulations for hazardous-substance spills,” EJHA Co-Coordinator Richard Moore said. “Today, we have none. Without such protections, all communities are at risk -- but especially residents of disadvantaged communities. It’s time for EPA to clean up its act.”

Organizations in this story

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