5th Circuit to hear lawsuits on EPA asbestos ban

By Ellie Borst | 05/08/2024 01:38 PM EDT

A judicial panel randomly selected the conservative-dominated court to oversee multiple complaints over EPA’s asbestos rule.

A sign warning of asbestos.

A sign warning of asbestos is shown. Peter Macdiarmid/AFP via Getty Images

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear complaints over EPA’s asbestos ban, a landmark rule that could be instrumental in shaping the agency’s newfound authority under the nation’s premier toxics law.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Tuesday consolidated lawsuits from industry, which has for decades fought research on the health risks of asbestos, as well as challenges from advocates and labor unions fighting for more stringent protections.

According to the consolidation order filed Tuesday, the panel randomly selected the Louisiana-based 5th Circuit, where most judges were appointed by Republican presidents. It’s the same court that overturned EPA’s first attempt to ban asbestos in 1991.


EPA announced in March that it would enforce phase-out timelines for the last remaining uses of chrysotile asbestos, the only type of raw asbestos still imported or used in manufacturing.