Court Order Approving the Consent Decree in the Worst Case Spills Case

Legal Filings
March 13, 2020

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today approved a consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, Clean Water Action, and Natural Resources Defense Council. The consent decree requires EPA to issue long-overdue rules requiring robust hazardous substance spill-prevention and response planning for the most dangerous chemical facilities – which, because of their proximity to water, pose a serious threat to human health and the environment. Under the agreement, the agency must issue proposed rules within 2 years, and finalize them 2.5 years after that. Ensuring that EPA fully complies with its duty to issue spill-prevention and response regulations will reduce the risk of environmental and health harms from preventable chemical spills, and help address the long-standing disproportionate burdens that chemical production and storage impose on fenceline communities, where most residents are low-income or people of color.