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April 17, 2023

NGO Seeks Review of TSCA Section 5 Order for a New Chemical Substance

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

Earthjustice announced on April 7, 2023, that Cherokee Concerned Citizens, a community group in Pascagoula, Mississippi, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for review of an Order for a New Chemical Substance under Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), signed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the petition, the August 11, 2022, Order authorizes Chevron U.S.A. Inc. to manufacture, process, distribute in commerce, use, or dispose of certain new chemical substances. The press release states that EPA approved the new chemicals to make fuels “despite finding that the resulting air pollution would pose a cancer risk 250,000 times greater than what the agency typically considers unreasonable.” According to the press release, EPA determined that the production of the new chemicals will pose up to a one in four cancer risk, meaning 25 percent of residents living nearby could develop cancer over their lifetime. The press release notes that under TSCA, EPA cannot approve new chemicals with serious health or environmental risks without identifying and implementing ways to minimize the dangers. EPA can also order lab testing that would clarify such risks. EPA did not do either before approving the request to produce this “hazardous fuel.”