Fluoride Action Network

TSCA Trial Press Kit

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a group of non-profits and individuals petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to end the addition of fluoridation chemicals into drinking water due to fluoride's neurotoxicity. The EPA rejected the petition. In response, the groups are suing the EPA in Federal Court.

The Timeline

November 22, 2016: On behalf of Fluoride Action Network (FAN), Food and Water Watch, MOMS Against Fluoridation, as well as several individuals, Paul Connett PhD and Bill Hirzy PhD served the EPA with a Petition calling on the Agency to ban the addition of fluoridation chemicals to public water supplies due to the risks these chemicals pose to the brain. The Petition was submitted under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) because it authorizes EPA to prohibit the “particular use” of a chemical that presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations. TSCA also gives EPA the authority to prohibit drinking water additives. Below is the video of Connett & Hirzy bringing the Petition to EPA Headquarters in DC.

Above Video: The TSCA petition process begins


February 27, 2017: EPA denied the TSCA Section 21 Petition. Read their reasons here. In their decision the EPA claimed, “The petition has not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S.”

April 18, 2017: FAN et al.’s response to EPA’s rejection of Petition.

September 25, 2017: Motion to Dismiss FAN et al. Petition by the Department of Justice, on behalf of the EPA.

October 25, 2017: FAN et al. response to EPA’s rejection of Petition.

October 25, 2017: Amicus Curiae Brief of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in Support of Neither Party. Their brief against EPA’s basis to dismiss our section 21 Petition focused on EPA’s unacceptable demand: “must evaluate all of a chemical’s conditions of use”

November 30, 2017: Hearing with arguments from both parties. Michael Connett, JD, put forward the arguments of why EPA’s Motion to Dismiss should be denied.

December 21, 2017: Court rules in our favor and denies EPA’s Motion to Dismiss.

December 14, 2017:  The EPA requests court for “a protective order limiting review to the administrative record and an order striking Plaintiffs’ Jury Demand.”

January 5, 2018: FAN et al. submitted a brief in opposition to EPA’s motion to the court for a sweeping order that would exempt this “civil action” from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b) and deny Plaintiffs their right to discovery.

January 5, 2018: The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) submitted an Amicus Curiae Brief in opposition to EPA’s motion to limit petitioner’s right to discovery. They state, “To the contrary, the language, structure, and history of section 21 all support the district court’s consideration of new evidence.” The NRDC involvement supports neither party on the merits of the case.

January 15, 2018: The U.S. EPA’s Reply “in Further Support of Motion to Limit Review to Administrative Record.”

January 18, 2018: The Defendant, EPA, “Answer” to FAN et al’s “Complaint of Fluoride’s harm submitted April 18, 2017. EPA’s response to each (107) paragraph in FAN et al’s “Complaint” of April 18, 2017, concluding: “Except as expressly admitted or otherwise stated herein, EPA denies each and every allegation in Plaintiff’s Complaint.”

February 7, 2018: The Court ruled in our favor: Order Denying Defendant’s (EPA) Motion to Limit Review to the Administrative Record

Above Video: Court rules TSCA fluoride case can move forward

September 19, 2019: The Defendants’ Motion to enlarge time for limited expert discovery

September 23, 2019: The Plaintiffs’ oppose the Defendants’ Motion to extend time for discovery

September 25, 2019: The Court denies Defendants’ motion for extension of time

Above Video: TSCA case moves forward with discovery

October 9, 2019: Plaintiffs’ Notice of Motion & Motion for Summary Judgment and Partial Summary Judgment

October 9, 2019: Defendants’ Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment

October 18, 2019: Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

October 18, 2019: Defendant’s  Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment and Partial Summary Judgment

October 24, 2019: Defendant’s Reply in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment

October 24, 2019: Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

December 19, 2019: Plaintiffs’ Proposed Findings of Fact

December 19, 2019: Defendant’s Joint Pretrial Conference Statement

December 20, 2019: Plaintiffs’ Trial Brief

December 30, 2019: The Court released its Order denying Plaintiffs’ and Defendant’s Motions for Summary Judgment. This means that our case will go forward. Trial is scheduled for two weeks beginning April 20, 2020 and will run for two weeks.

Above Video: Court rules TSCA fluoride case will go to trial

April 20, 2020: POSTPONED TSCA fluoride lawsuit trial dates, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco (postponed on 3/17/20 due to the coronavirus outbreak)

May 8, 2020: Pre-trial hearing. The Court cleared the way for three international experts in neurotoxicity to testify on the risks of fluoride in public water supplies. The court ruled that the purported benefits of community water fluoridation cannot be part of the trial, restricting testimony to the toxic risks under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

June 8, 2020: TSCA fluoride lawsuit trial start date. Due to the coronavirus, the trial will be conducted over video conference. An April 30th pre-trial hearing will provide more information on how to publicly access the video trial.

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