EPA Ban Hdpe Coatings Faces Court Challenge Debate Alternatives Heats

A federal appellate court has agreed to expedite its review of Inhance Technologies LLC’s challenge to an EPA order that would shut down its 11 plastic bottle fluorination factories. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans granted an administrative stay that temporarily blocks the EPA’s Dec. 1 order while the court review is ongoing. The court has tentatively scheduled oral arguments during the week of Feb. 5.

The recent order by the EPA and the ensuing legal battle have sparked a discussion about the feasibility of finding alternatives to Inhance’s fluorination coating process. This process is used for creating high-density polyethylene containers, and it produces fluorinated per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that can be highly toxic and have the potential to contaminate drinking water. The supply chains, therefore, could be affected, and it’s important to consider the consequences of continuing to use this process.

The EPA argues that the only effective remedy is to halt Inhance’s manufacturing until they can redesign their operations to prevent the PFAS compounds from being created during the manufacturing process.

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Steve Toloken, Assistant Managing Editor

December 14, 2023