Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Chemical Spills

A trio of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a lack of regulations for chemicals released by industrial facilities.

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A trio of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a lack of regulations for chemicals released by industrial facilities.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform and People Concerned About Chemical Safety filed suit in New York federal court on Tuesday.

The filing alleged that the EPA has yet to issue regulations for the discharge of industrial chemicals despite a congressional mandate to do so in 1972. The groups cited data from the U.S. Coast Guard that showed 18,764 industrial spills between 2005 and 2014; 1,294 of those incidents ultimately contaminated waterways.

"For more than four decades, EPA has failed to comply with a legal requirement under the Clean Water Act to issue regulations that would protect the public from hazardous substances spills from industrial facilities," the NRDC's Erik Olson said in a statement.

The groups asked the court to require the EPA to implement new regulations. The agency did not offer comment on the pending litigation.

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