Center for Environmental Health Files Lawsuits Against Chemical Importers for EPA Violations

The Center for Environmental Health filed a series of lawsuits against Braskem America, Inc., 3N International, Inc., and other. in the District of Columbia District Court on Monday. The non-profit organization filed citizen enforcement suits to protect Americans from being harmed by toxic chemicals handled by the defendants.

The Center for Environment Health’s stated goal is to “protect people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, businesses, and the government to demand and support business practices that are safe for human health and the environment.”

The plaintiff is suing to “redress and prevent ongoing violations of reporting requirements for chemical substances under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).” This federal law enables “any person [to] commence a civil action against any person” who violates the TCSA. This law created a national program “for assessing and managing the risks of chemicals to human health and the environment.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the TSCA which requires companies to submit a Form U “for all chemicals manufactured or imported at a site in volumes of 25,000 pounds or more per facility in a given reporting year.” 

The three defendants all failed to file copies of Form U under the 2016 CDR Update. They all allegedly imported hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pounds of chemicals that were deemed dangerous to human life, some of which being known carcinogens. According to the plaintiff, these actions are “violations [that] comprise ‘prohibited acts’ under TSCA section 15” and therefore the defendants should have to report its imports to the EPA at once.

The Center for Environmental Health is seeking a declaration of the defendants’ failure to report the importation of toxic chemicals to the EPA under the CDR, an order for the defendants to file Form Us, an order for the defendants to audit their manufacturing and importation activities, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Sussman & Associates.