Environmental -- 2020

Tex. Ass'n of Mfrs. v. CPSC   (5th Circuit)

Challenge to CPSC phthalates rule

On 12/14/17, the NAM and American Chemistry Council, along with local Texas groups, filed a challenge in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) final rule on phthalates, which restricts the phthalate DINP. The CPSC’s decision to restrict DINP was misguided, scientifically inaccurate and the result of a deeply flawed process that fabricated rationales for a predetermined outcome. The Commission should have relied on scientifically reasonable statistics when assessing the exposure data, which demonstrate the cumulative risk of exposure to these phthalates is actually well below any level of concern – even for sensitive populations. DINP, as currently used in commercial and consumer products, does not pose a risk to human health at typical exposure levels. The CPSC’s unfounded decision here could be a slippery slope to restrict other chemicals that special interests find objectionable.

On 2/5/18, the NAM filed a response to the CPSC's motion to dismiss. The NAM's filed its opening brief on 8/20/18 and its reply brief on 12/3/18. On March 1, 2021, a unanimous three-judge panel held that CPSC violated the Administrative Procedure Act by (1) not allowing sufficient opportunity for notice and comment when it shifted its justification for the rule from relying upon an HI=1 at the 95th percentile to relying on spot samples of actual women; and (2) CPSC failed to adequately consider costs and benefits when it continued the interim prohibition on DINP. The Court remanded the rule without vacatur to CPSC to address these shortcomings.

Related Documents:
Opinion  (March 2, 2021)
NAM reply brief  (December 3, 2018)
NAM opening brief  (August 20, 2018)
NAM response  (February 5, 2018)
NAM petition for review  (December 14, 2017)