On December 21, 2017, we received this exciting message from FAN’s Legal Advisor, Michael Connett, JD:
“Judge just handed down his ruling —
he has denied EPA’s motion to dismiss!”
A federal judge has ruled in our favor to allow FAN’s lawsuit against the EPA to move forward. This ruling was picked up by a prominent law website, which in turn has been picked up by Reuters. So the news is out:
WE ARE WINNING. The next phase will be discovery.
Above: a video interview with attorney Michael Connett about the lawsuit and yesterday’s decision.
All articles on the lawsuit are accessible here
Timeline of Lawsuit Against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
November 22, 2016: Fluoride Action Network (FAN), together with a coalition of environmental, medical and health groups, collectively known as the “Petitioners” (see *below), 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.
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.
* The Petitioners:
Fluoride Action Network
Food & Water Watch
American Academy of Environmental Medicine
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
Moms Against Fluoridation
Organic Consumers Association
Audrey Adams, a resident of Renton, WA (individually and on behalf of her son),
Jacqueline Denton, a resident of Asheville, NC (individually and on behalf of her children),
Valerie Green , a resident of Silver Spring, MD (individually and on behalf of her children),
Kristin Lavelle, a resident of Berkeley, CA (individually and on behalf of her son),
Brenda Staudenmaier from Green Bay, WI (individually and on behalf of her children)