EPA has 90 days to update lead regulations after activists score major victory in federal court

Yvette Cabrera, on December 28, 2017

A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly update antiquated federal lead regulations, a major victory for advocates who charged that the agency had for years failed to make its standards stringent enough to protect children from the harmful neurotoxin.

In mandating that the EPA move quickly to issue the new rules to strengthen outdated lead hazard standards, the court cited the agency’s own conclusion that “lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat in the U.S. for children ages 6 and younger” and that the current standards are insufficient.

“The children exposed to lead poisoning due to the failure of EPA to act are severely prejudiced by EPA’s delay,” wrote Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Mary M. Schroeder, for the majority in the 2-to-1 decision.

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