News Recap for 6-4-21
The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Won’t Consider Johnson & Johnson Challenge to Baby Powder Judgment — The Supreme Court rejected the J&J appeal in a brief written order, effectively ending the case and leaving in place a Missouri appeals-court ruling against the company. The company said the court’s decision to stay out of the case “leaves unresolved significant legal questions that state and federal courts will continue to face.”
Bloomberg Law: Wendy’s, States Ditch Food Wrappers with ‘Forever Chemicals’ — At least 15 companies—as well as several states—have announced policies in recent years to phase PFAS out of packaging. Legal experts view this strategy as “death by a thousand cuts” for the compound. The more states and corporations ban PFAS from food packaging, the more that practice will become the industry standard and expectation.
JD Supra: Final Minimum Risk Levels for PFAS: What Do They Mean? — The recent Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) report sets the stage for what is likely to be a contentious battle regarding PFAS clean-up levels in the years ahead. In states that have developed their own drinking water standards for PFAS that are based on reference doses even lower than those in the ATSDR report, the question becomes whether the state might adopt differing federal values that it may see as less stringent.
National Review: Congress Must Reassert Its Role in Science and Technology Policy — M. Anthony Mills explains how Congress depleted its own sources of technical and scientific knowledge over the years. The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was a congressional agency designed to supply Congress with an independent source of science and technology expertise that was shuttered in 1995—leading to a Congress less capable of overseeing executive agencies and keeping them in line.
JD Supra: Can We Blame This on the ‘Rona? — The American College of Environmental Lawyers analyzes several environmental issues that “cannot be blamed” on COVID—including PFAS. “The emerging contaminants such as PFAS and 1,4 dioxane, are regulated or soon to be regulated substances which will be considered public health and potential environmental risks at part per trillion concentrations… As we delve into these issues, knowing that we all care about protection of the environment, my question to you is, ‘Who is going to pay for remediation to part per trillion concentrations?'”