Suit Regarding Failure to Disclose Information about New Chemicals Could Be Resolved without a Trial
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
As reported in our March 23, 2020, memorandum, on March 18, 2020, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGO) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), claiming that EPA fails to disclose information about new chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Environmental Defense Fund v. Wheeler, No. 1:20-cv-762. On July 27, 2020, the parties submitted a joint case management statement. According to the statement, the parties agree that the case can be resolved by motions for summary judgment and that there is no need for a trial. The parties state that they disagree about whether administrative records exist and the availability and scope of discovery, however. Resolving these questions will implicate the timing for any discovery, the appropriate deadline for final amended pleadings, and the appropriate schedule for summary judgment briefing. The parties note that they are currently discussing options to resolve as many of these questions as possible and that they believe successfully resolving them could reduce the number and complexity of procedural issues before the court. In particular, according to the statement, the parties are discussing options to narrow the scope of factual and legal issues presented, which may minimize the potential for future disputes over the availability and scope of discovery. The parties propose to submit an updated case management statement no later than August 31, 2020.