D.C. Circuit Court Directs EPA to Review Corrosivity Standards
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to examine current corrosive dust standards as part of an agreement to hold in abeyance legal proceedings between the EPA and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). PEER and an EPA scientist sued the EPA in September 2014 over federal corrosivity standards, alleging that the agency’s current dust limits failed to protect first responders after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The lawsuit asserts that the agency’s current standards permit alkaline corrosive materials at a level that is higher than limits set by the World Health Organization.
The March 13, 2015 order halting the proceedings requires the EPA to provide status reports every 120 days beginning July 13, 2015. The EPA has until March 31, 2016 to decide whether or not it will issue new federal corrosivity standards.