According to PETA, it contends that if petitioners prevail and the EPA is required to consider every condition of use for a chemical, animal testing is likely to be required—even though a particular condition of use may produce insignificant exposures.
The second case, National Resources Defense Council v. US Environmental Protection Agency, before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, relates to whether, in its consideration of a new chemical, the EPA can defer addressing some potential uses until the agency receives notice that such uses are actually intended. This reasonable approach would lead the EPA to require fewer animal tests because these uses may never occur.
PETA contends that the EPA’s approach has the potential to save agency resources and spare animals’ lives, in keeping with TSCA’s clear mandate to reduce the use of animals in chemical tests. If successful, the organizations suing the EPA could undermine the animal reduction measures in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was passed in 2016 with the aim of modernizing the way in which chemicals are regulated and tested, because it would mean a vast increase in the number of animals who suffer and die in the EPA’s required animal tests.
The legislation represents the first significant change to the EPA’s 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, which provides EPA with authority to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, and restrictions relating to chemical substances and/or mixtures. Certain substances are generally excluded.