United States Environmental Protection Agency scientists take court action against EPA for failing to protect public health
Important scientific and technical considerations were ignored when the Recommended Maximum Contaminant Level(RMCL) for fluoride in public drinking water was set
As of April 20, 1998, EPA professionals are represented by the National Treasury Employees (NTEU) Union, Chapter 280.
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT __________________________________________ ) NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, INC., ) ) Petitioner, ) ) Civ. No. 85-1839 v. ) ) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, and ) LEE M. THOMAS, ADMINISTRATOR, ) ) Respondents. ) __________________________________________) consolidated with ) SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ) ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, ) ) Petitioner, ) ) v. ) Civ. No. 85-1854 ) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ) ) Respondent. ) __________________________________________)
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE
BRIEF AS AMICUS CURIAE
Pursuant to Rule 29 of The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and Rule 10 of the Rules of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Local 2050 of the National Federation of Federal Employees ("NFFE" or "the Union"), by its attorneys, Lord, Day & Lord, moves the Court for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae, in the form submitted herewith. NFFE is the exclusive bargaining representative of all the scientific and technical professional employees at the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") headquarters in Washington, D.C. in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 7101 et seq. Thus, the NEFE bargaining unit includes as members all toxicologists, chemists, physical scientists, statisticians, biologists, engineers, attorneys and other non-management, nonsupervisory professionals at EPA headquarters who are responsible for reviewing, evaluating and assessing technical and scientific knowledge in areas relevant to EPA decision making as well as for making the assessments which lie at the core of all EPA's scientific and technical determinations. NFFE members have the direct responsibility for evaluations prerequisite to the EPA's scientific and technical determinations under the Safe Drinking Water Act ("SDWA"), 42 U.S.C. § 300j-7. Their professional reputations and that of the entire scientific and technical community at EPA will be strongly affected by the outcome of this litigation. NFFE seeks leave to file an amicus brief in connection with this challenge to EPA action because its members are uniquely qualified to aid the Court by shedding light on 1) the proper technical and scientific considerations which should be applied when setting an RMCL, 2) the manner in which EPA ignored important scientific and technical considerations when setting the RMCL for fluoride, and 3) the manner in which EPA disregarded the statutory requirement that RMCLs be based solely on considerations of public health. Until very recently, the members of NFFE had made no decision to seek leave to file an amicus brief in this proceeding, preferring to voice its concerns through informal channels within EPA. See Letter from President of NFFE to EPA dated August 26, 1986, attached hereto as Exhibit A. Only after various members studied EPA's recently filed papers in opposition to NRDC's petition, which are devoid of an adequate response to important issues raised by NRDC, did NFFE determine to involve itself in these proceedings. Because it was not aware of the content of EPA's papers prior to their filing, NFFE could not have been expected to seek status as an amicus curiae at an earlier date. NFFE thus has not unduly delayed the instant motion and good cause exists to permit it to file an amicus brief at this stage in the proceeding.
Nor can EPA claim prejudice because of the filing of a brief by the NFFE. As the numerous letters and memoranda attached to NFFE's proposed brief demonstrate, the NFFE has consistently opposed the RMCL here in controversy as not supported by the scientific and technical literature, and has consistently made known to EPA its opposition. To the extent the Court determines such letters and memoranda to be outside the record, NFFE hereby moves to supplement the record with those materials, which are essential to the Court's understanding of EPA's decision making process with respect to the fluoride RMCL. EPA can claim no prejudice either by NFFE's submission of an amicus brief or by supplementing the record with materials from EPA's own files on this matter.
John J. Loflin, Nora J. Chorover, John Grimmer, LORD, DAY & LORD
25 Broadway, New York, New York 10004, (212) 344-8480
Dated: New York, New York
Dated: September 3, 1986