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State Attorneys Team Up to Take on EPA Over Requirements for Reporting Import, Use of Asbestos

Attorneys General from 14 states and the District of Columbia have petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to better regulate corporations in the asbestos industry and strengthen reporting requirements about the products they import and use. The petition, filed in late January, was applauded by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), one of the leading non-profits dedicated to asbestos-related public safety issues, advocacy, and exposure prevention in America.

According to a public statement from ADAO CEO and President Linda Reinstein, the petition is a reassuring sign that numerous states have stepped forward to lead the charge in battling the EPA’s “reckless disregard of public health,” particularly after ADAO’s own petition was denied by the agency.

Co-led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and supported by AGs from 13 other jurisdictions, the petition reiterates much of what the ADAO and five other groups included in their September 2018 petition to the EPA. Here are a few key details about the efforts:

  • The petition seeks stronger regulations which require companies in the asbestos industry to file reports when they import asbestos and products containing asbestos, and to inform the EPA about where and how they are used.
  • The new petition was prompted by the EPA’s denial of a previous “Right to Know” petition from ADAO and other groups in December 2019.
  • In the original petition, petitioners argued that due to a regulatory loophole, Occidental Chemical Corporation, the world’s largest asbestos importer, failed to notify the EPA about the amount of asbestos it was bringing into the country. Like the new petition, it sought disclosure and reporting requirements related to asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Because state AGs have banded together, the ADAO is hopeful the current administration’s EPA will close a loophole which allows asbestos industry companies to avoid reporting requirements which apply to thousands of other chemicals. That’s an especially pertinent goal given the consensus that asbestos is among the most hazardous substance ever produced, and that there is no safe level of exposure. Though recent studies show approximately 40,000 people in the U.S. die as a result of asbestos exposure each year, ADAO research indicates importing of asbestos significantly increased in 2018.

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC: Proven Experience in Asbestos, Toxic Exposure Cases

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC is a Houston-based law firm with a national reach and proven experience in complex claims involving asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases. Because our firm has its own mesothelioma division, our attorneys know the incalculable consequences of exposure to asbestos-containing products, the profound suffering victims and families must endure, and the need to end a history of cover-ups, carelessness, and tragedies.

We support efforts which seek to improve regulatory oversight over this dangerous substance, and which put the safety of the public ahead of profits. We are also committed to providing the support and award-winning legal representation victims and families need when they must navigate claims during difficult times, and seek justice and compensation for their losses against powerful corporations .If you have questions involving a potential asbestos claim, our attorneys are available to help. BCH proudly serves clients nationwide, offers free consultations, and charges no fees unless we win. Contact us online, or call us to speak with a member of our team.

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