Appeal On Judge Osteen's Decision On Epa Classification Of Ets In Progress

APPEAL ON JUDGE OSTEEN'S DECISION ON EPA CLASSIFICATION OF ETS IN PROGRESS

Tobacco companies ask Fourth Circuit to affirm Judge Osteen's decision on EPA classification of ETS as "known" human carcinogen.

The following statement was issued June 7, 1999 by Philip Morris Incorporated; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation regarding the oral argument before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on the lawsuit involving the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) classification of environmental tobacco smoke as a "known" human carcinogen.

"Our companies today asked the Fourth Circuit to affirm Federal Judge William L. Osteen's decision that the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded the law and established rules of scientific procedure in classifying environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a 'known' human carcinogen.

"Judge Osteen's ruling supported our long-held view that the EPA predetermined its conclusions and manipulated established scientific procedures to validate those conclusions.

"In his ruling, Judge Osteen declared that:

'In this case, EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before the research had begun; excluded (the) industry by violating the Act's procedural requirements; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency's public conclusion, and aggressively utilized the Act's authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme intended to restrict plaintiffs' products and to influence public opinion.

'In conducting the ETS risk assessment, EPA disregarded information and made findings on selective information; did not disseminate significant epidemiological information; deviated from its Risk Assessment Guidelines; failed to disclose important findings and reasoning; and left significant questions without answers. EPA's conduct left substantial holes in the administrative record. While in so doing, EPA produced limited evidence, then claimed the weight of the agency's research evidence demonstrated ETS causes cancer.'

"Because of the glaring and serious deficiencies in the EPA's decision-making process, we argued today that the appeals panel should affirm Judge Osteen's ruling vacating the chapters of its risk assessment concerning lung cancer and its classification of ETS as a 'known' human carcinogen."

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