EPA’s first status report fails to report on key issue

February 2, 2022. EPA’s first status report fails to provide an update on one of the key arguments it used in court to delay the final rule until 2023. Over a year ago on May 20, 2021, EPA told the court that the oil industry had blocked access to the reference oils that EPA needed for the toxicity and efficacy tests required for product listing. This alone could stall the entire rulemaking process. At the time, lead attorney Claudia Polsky had argued that if EPA can’t obtain the reference oils, then perhaps EPA needs to rethink this requirement as it is no guarantee that this oil would be available by 2023 either. There is no indication from EPA’s status report that it has procured the reference oils and, if not, that it is making progress towards this end.