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March 21, 2024

EPA Seeks Comment on Proposed Settlement Agreement to Conclude a TSCA Rulemaking Regulating Lead Wheel Weights

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On March 13, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published notice of a proposed settlement agreement to address a petition for writ of mandamus filed by the Ecology Center, the Center for Environmental Health, United Parents Against Lead & Other Environmental Hazards, and the Sierra Club in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ecology Center v. EPA, No. 23-70158 (9th Cir.)). 89 Fed. Reg. 18408. The petitioners filed a petition for writ of mandamus on August 22, 2023, requesting that the Ninth Circuit direct EPA to “conclude a rulemaking under [TSCA] regulating lead wheel weights within six months.” EPA states that the mandamus petition alleges that EPA’s 14-year delay violated the Administrative Procedures Act’s (APA) requirement that a federal agency “conclude a matter presented to it … within a reasonable time,” and that the court has the authority to “compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed.” The proposed settlement agreement would resolve all claims in the case by establishing deadlines for EPA to take final action. Under the proposed settlement agreement, EPA will:

  • Publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning lead wheel weights; and
  • By December 31, 2024, either sign a proposed rule regulating lead wheel weights pursuant to 15 U.S.C. Section 2605(a) and sign a final rule or otherwise take final action on the proposed rule by September 30, 2025, or sign a determination not to proceed with a rulemaking regulating lead wheel weights.

Comments on the proposed settlement agreement are due April 12, 2024.