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September 19, 2022

EPA Denies TSCA Section 21 Petition to Phase Out GHG Pollution

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

As reported in our July 18, 2022, blog item, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received a petition on June 16, 2022, under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) from Daniel M. Galpern on behalf of Donn J. Viviani, John Birks, Richard Heede, Lise Van Susteren, James E. Hansen, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, and Climate Protection and Restoration Initiative. The petition requests EPA “to phase out the anthropogenic manufacture, processing, distribution, use, and disposal of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fossil fuels, and fossil fuel emissions.” In a September 14, 2022, letter, EPA denied the petition. According to the letter, of the various actions described in the petition, EPA determined that only the request to initiate a proceeding for the issuance of a rule under TSCA Section 6(a) is within the ambit of a TSCA Section 21 petition. EPA states that based on its review, and after careful consideration of the specific requests, it is denying the request to initiate a proceeding for the issuance of a rule under TSCA Section 6(a) because, “although EPA shares the petitioners’ concerns regarding the threat posed by climate change, the Agency found that the petition was insufficiently specific and failed to establish that it is necessary to issue a rule under TSCA section 6, in light of ongoing and expected federal government actions, the relative efficiency of TSCA rulemaking, and lack of TSCA section 6(a) authority to regulate historical GHG emissions.” EPA will publish in a forthcoming Federal Register notice its reasons for denying this portion of the petition, as well as its reasons for declining to address under TSCA Section 21 the other petitioned actions. EPA has posted a prepublication copy of the Federal Register notice.