Fluoride Action Network

TSCA Fluoride Lawsuit Timeline Summary

January 12th, 2024 | Jay Sanders, Fluoride Action Network

November 2016

Watchdog organizations serve 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.

February 2017

EPA denies the petition.

April 2017

FAN and other organizations sue EPA.

November 2017

First Court hearing on EPA’s Motion to Dismiss.

December 2017

Court rules in plaintiffs’ favor, denying EPA’s motion to dismiss. The Court noted, “The purpose of citizen petitions is to ensure the EPA does not overlook unreasonable risks to health or the environment.”

December 2017

EPA asks for a protective order limiting review to the administrative record.

February 2018

Court rules in plaintiffs’ favor, denying the EPAs motion to limit review to the administrative record, thus allowing use of important new scientific studies published since the case was initiated.

October 2018

The Court orders more discovery in the case.

October 2019

Plaintiffs and defendants submit motions for summary judgement.

December 2019

Plaintiffs’ file proposed findings of fact and trial brief.

December 2019

Court releases 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.

April 2020

Trial postponed on 3/17/20 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

May 2020

Pre-trial hearing. Court allows plaintiff’s expert witnesses to participate in trial, rejecting challenge by EPA. Court says benefits of fluoridation are not to be part of trial, denying effort by EPA to include benefits.

May 2020

Trial declarations from plaintiffs’ witnesses submitted.

June 2020

A two week trial by Zoom (June 8-19)

August 2020

The ending of the trial was unexpected as the judge asked the two parties to work out an agreement, suggesting various scenarios.

November 2020

Supplement to original petition filed by plaintiffs asking EPA to reconsider their denial of 2016 Petition and responding to the issue of standing.


The Judge has not issued its ruling. After the trial ended the Judge held several status hearings with the attorneys and informed them that he wanted two documents before making a ruling.

1. National Toxicology Program’s Systematic Review of Fluoride’s Neurotoxicity. The NTP spent over 5 years and at least a million dollars to produce this document, which was delayed by top HHS officials and finally released under court order in September 2022.

2. A Benchmark Dose Analysis of Fluoride’s Neurotoxicity. This document was published in June 2021.

June 2021

Plaintiffs file motion to lift pause on the trial.

January 2022

Status hearing. The Judge reiterates his desire to wait until the NTP publishes the final version of their review on fluoride’s neurotoxicity before continuing with the trial.

October 2022

Court rules in favor of plaintiff’s motion to lift the stay. This signals the Court’s desire to move forward with the case. The Court reopens discovery to examine an updated version of the NTP review.

January 2023

Status hearing. Court rules against the EPA’s request for additional delay of the trial, acknowledging that “justice delayed is justice denied”. The Court set a timeline for the final phase leading up to a verdict.

April 2023

Status hearing. Dates are set for the second phase of the trial.

October 2023

Status hearing. The expiration of the CARES Act means that our attorneys will present live from the federal courthouse in San Francisco as opposed to a Zoom trial.

January 16, 2024

Pre-trial hearing

January 31 – February 14, 2024

Second Phase of Fluoride Trial