EPA, plaintiffs battle over landmark TSCA fluoridation trial schedule

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Environmentalists and EPA are battling over whether a judge should delay a first-time Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) trial, slated to begin early next year, to determine whether the agency should ban fluoride, with the plaintiffs charging that EPA’s request to delay the trial would “derail the entire schedule of this case.”

The dueling over the trial marks the latest steps in the landmark TSCA suit, Food & Water Watch Inc., et al, v. EPA, where environmentalists and public health groups are seeking to force EPA to grant their petition seeking to ban the practice of treating drinking water with fluoride.

The once-rarely used TSCA section 21 citizen’s petition process allows the possibility for a de novo trial before a judge, an option Judge Edward Chen, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, allowed to move forward last year.