Regulatory Alert: EPA Publishes Draft Risk Evaluations for 1,4-Dioxane and HBCD

Last week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued controversial draft risk evaluations for 1,4-Dioxane and Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD), two of 10 chemicals subject to scrutiny under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Under the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act which amended the TSCA in 2016, the EPA is required to publish information regarding “hazards, exposures, conditions of use and potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations,” regarding the enumerated chemicals. These risk evaluations are
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Global Plastic Proliferation – An Emerging Climate Threat

From teeming landfills, choked rivers, and Pacific Ocean garbage gyres, to potential harm to marine and animal life from micro-plastic debris spanning the poles to the deepest part of the oceans, the growing proliferation of plastics is triggering a growing realization that the world has a plastics problem. This is not just an environmental pollution problem. Scientists are beginning to understand that plastics – from cradle to grave – potentially could have an unrealized significant impact on global climate change.
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Environmental Study of Glyphosate Raises Issues Beyond Personal Injury Litigation

Aside from toxic tort litigation pertaining to the use of glyphosate, a recent study has evaluated environmental issues pertaining to the world’s most widely used herbicide. The study, out of McGill University, evaluates whether glyphosate may contribute to environmental phosphorus levels. Phosphorus pollution in U.S. water bodies is a major concern of the EPA, which has stated that nutrient pollution (phosphorus and nitrogen) is one of the country’s most widespread, costly, and challenging environmental problems. Phosphorus, although naturally existing, has
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1,4-Dioxane is Back in Court, Following a New and Familiar Template for Water Authority Claims

Late last week, a pair of lawsuits on water contamination were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of local water authorities. Back in the news is the emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane, which made headlines in late 2017 in a related and similar groundbreaking lawsuit that sought to recover costs against major manufacturers for the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of water treatment facilities and equipment required to remove the 1,4-dioxane from
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City of Newark Distributing Water Filters Following Ineffective Lead Treatment Program

The City of Newark, NJ has been battling an aging and decaying infrastructure for years. More specifically, Newark’s aging water supply and service line infrastructure is one of many challenges it, and other similarly situated cities face. The issue of lead in drinking water captured the nation’s attention several years ago with the heath crisis that impacted (and is still impacting) Flint, Michigan. The concern involving drinking water quality and excessive lead levels is, however, far from limited to that region.
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Temperatures And Enforcement Actions On The Rise In The Garden State

New Jersey state officials are moving forward with plans to increase environmental enforcement lawsuits. In what he described as a “new day,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the filing of six separate lawsuits on August 1, 2018. In a statement, Attorney General Grewal said “We’re sending a message to every company across the state: if you pollute our natural resources, we’re going to make you pay.” Three of the lawsuits are aimed at recovering damages for the harm caused by
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PFAS Alert: New York State Court Certifies PFOA Class Action

On July 3, 2018, a state court in New York certified a class action lawsuit that involves residents of Petersburgh, New York who claim exposure to varying levels of the chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is in the class of chemicals known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances and was used to make heat, water, and stain resistant household and commercial products. Think Teflon, Scotchgard, GORE-TEX, fast food wrappers, etc. This is the first class action matter that’s been certified in the State of New York that involves
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CDC Reports Outbreaks Associated With Untreated Recreational Water on the Rise: An Overview of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) is a weekly epidemiological digest for the United States published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is considered by many practicing in the public health sector to be the primary publication for sharing public health information and recommendations that have been received by the CDC from state health departments. Recently, The Environmental Law Monitor reported on the May 18, 2018 CDC Report: “Outbreaks Associated with Treated Recreational Water – United
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City of Newark – Facing Citizen Suit Over Allegations of Elevated Lead Levels In Drinking Water

On June 26, 2018, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a New Jersey based teachers’ caucus joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal district court alleging, among other things, that the City of Newark’s water system contains dangerous elevated levels of lead that’s putting the health of residents in the community at risk. As many of our readers are aware, NRDC is the nonprofit organization that brought a citizen suit (along with the ACLU) under the SDWA against the City of Flint, MI and other defendants for
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CDC Reports Outbreaks Associated With Treated Recreational Water on the Rise: An Overview of the CDC’s MMWR

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) is a weekly epidemiological digest for the United States published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is considered by many practicing in the public health sector to be the primary publication for sharing public health information and recommendations that have been received by the CDC from state health departments. On May 18, 2018 the CDC published “Outbreaks Associated with Treated Recreational Water – United States, 2000-2014. (MMWR May 18, 2018/67(19);
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