SIRC NEWS RELEASES
The Styrene Information & Research Center's news releases are in date order (mm/dd/yy).
Media inquiries should be directed to Nancy Mayes, 703.772.2510
SIRC news releases are downloadable PDFs.
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05/15/13 — SIRC Statement on Decision in SIRC/Dart vs. HHS
(The following statement may be attributed in whole or in part to SIRC Executive Director Jack Snyder.)
The Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) is disappointed that Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has granted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS's) cross-motion for summary judgment and, accordingly, has upheld HHS's inclusion of styrene in its 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC).
Today’s decision relates to challenges to the procedure that HHS's National Toxicology Program (NTP) used to reach its decision to include styrene in the RoC. It does not speak to the fundamental science on styrene’s carcinogenic potential, which we continue to believe NTP inaccurately assessed.
We look forward next year to receiving the conclusions of the National Academy of Sciences’ review of the styrene listing, which should provide a science-based assessment of the NTP's decision to list styrene in the RoC, as well as a comprehensive assessment of whether the collective scientific data support a cancer concern about styrene.
We challenged the RoC listing in court because we believe that it is unsupported by the science and resulted from a seriously flawed process. SIRC filed its suit contesting styrene's listing as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" on June 10, 2011, the day that HHS published the RoC. Judge Walton handed down his decision on May 15, 2013.
04/02/13 — SIRC Letter to James Reisa. Follow-up Submission for NRC Review of Styrene. [PDF]
03/11/13 — SIRC petitions HHS for acknowledgement of National Academy review of styrene's listing in Report on Carcinogens.
02/20/13 — SIRC letter and comments to NRC Styrene Review Committee. [PDF]
02/13/13 — LARGE, NEW STUDY FINDS ‘NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE’ THAT STYRENE EXPOSURE INCREASES HUMAN CANCER RISK. Read the PDF statement here.
11/02/12 — Styrene Industry Lauds California Appellate Court Decision on Prop. 65 Listing.
“The Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) lauds the October 31 decision by the California Court of Appeal, Third District, Sacramento, affirming SIRC’s challenge to the state’s proposed listing styrene as a known carcinogen under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65...” Read the PDF statement here.
05/21/12 — SIRC Motion for Summary Judgment in Legal Challenge to
Report on Carcinogens Argues that NTP Misled HHS Secretary
The Washington-based Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) on May 18 filed a motion for summary judgment in its challenge to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) listing of styrene as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" in its 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC).
SIRC is challenging the listing as being unsupported by the science and the result of a seriously flawed process. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia on June 10, 2011, the same date that the RoC was published.
In its Memorandum in Support of the May 18 motion, SIRC argues that (1) procedural errors render the "reasonably anticipated" classification as arbitrary and capricious; (2) the National Toxicology Program misled HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during the RoC development process, and (3) the RoC's classification criteria is illegal in that the statutory language authorizing the biennial report does not permit the listing of suspect or possible carcinogens.
All of these arguments are expanded upon and supported with evidence in the Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of Its Motion for Summary Judgment, which is available here. The Motion for Summary Judgment itself, which is a pro forma document, as well as the "Memorandum," both are available on the court docket.
SIRC filed its motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum in line with the summary judgment briefing schedule; per that schedule, HHS' opposition and cross-motion are due June 22. For additional information on styrene, visit www.YouKnowStyrene.org.
04/25/12 — Styrene industry highlights flaws in NTP process: Congressional subcommittees hear recommended solutions. Toxicologist James Bus, PhD, DABT, ATS, testified at a joint congressional subcommittee hearing today that the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) Report on Carcinogens (RoC) process needs comprehensive oversight and fundamentalreforms to assure that its listings are based on all of the scientific information. Read the PDF here.
04/10/12 — Proposed Summary Judgment Briefing Schedule - SIRC v. Sebelius. Read the PDF
04/02/12 — Styrene Information and Research Center Statement on U.S. District Court Opinion And Order on Styrene Industry’s Motion to Complete the Administrative Record.
01/10/12 — Styrene Industry Lauds Proposed NAS Review of Styrene. – “The U.S. styrene industry is pleased funding has been allotted for a scientific, peer review by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of styrene’s listing in the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens ...” Read the PDF here.
11/28/11 — Judge cancels December 1 hearing on styrene case; conference to be scheduled
On November 28, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia canceled a December 1 hearing on the administrative record dispute between the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (representing the Department of Health and Human Services), in SIRC's legal challenge to HHS' listing of styrene as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" in its 12th Report on Carcinogens.
SIRC's legal counsel had filed a motion October 28 seeking additional documents from HHS that pertain to its challenge to the styrene listing (see October 28 "Newsroom" posting). The judge's latest order indicates that he believes a hearing is not necessary, and that the issues between the two parties can be resolved through an as-yet-to-be-scheduled conference with counsel. Further developments in this case will be posted in the "Newsroom" as they occur.
11/03/11 — NEW SIRC WEBSITE TELLS FULL STORY OF STYRENE AND STYRENE-BASED PRODUCTS. The Styrene Information and Research Center has launched a new website – www.YouKnowStyrene.org – to serve as a reliable, one-stop source of information on styrene and styrene-based products for consumers, educators, the media, industry employees and communities. Read the PDF here.
10/28/11 — On October 28, the Styrene Information and Research Center's (SIRC's) legal counsel filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking additional documents that pertain to its continuing legal challenge to the listing of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens. Specifically, SIRC asked for the court to compel the Department of Justice to produce three categories of documents, as follows:
(1) Those relating to the work performed by various subgroups of the National Toxicology Program's (NTP's) Expert Panel, which reviewed the styrene listing;
(2) Independent analyses conducted by the NTP or others of data from the studies reported in the NTP's Styrene Background Document, and
(3) Documents relating to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR's) Cancer Policy Chart and a letter from ATSDR Director Dr. Christopher Portier that interprets the ATSDR's 2010 Toxicology Profile on styrene and NTP's styrene conclusion as not being inconsistent, which SIRC believes they are.
No decision is expected on SIRC's latest motion until at least December 1, when both parties meet with Judge Reggie B. Walton to discuss the discovery issues. When those are resolved, the parties will propose a briefing schedule on the summary judgment motions. Read SIRC's October 28 motion here.
10/18/11 — The Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) issued the following statement today in response to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Report entitled “The Delay Game: How the Chemical Industry Ducks Regulation of the Most Toxic Substances.” Read the PDF here.
10/05/11 — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today issued an order granting the Styrene Information and Research Center's (SIRC's) October 4 "Motion to Stay the Briefing Schedule..." in SIRC's legal challenge to the listing of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens. The Order stays summary judgment briefing until the Court rules on SIRC's Motion to Complete the Record. After that ruling, the parties are to confer about a new briefing schedule. The order further directs SIRC and the federal government to submit a joint proposed briefing schedule within five days after the Court's ruling on SIRC's pending "Motion to Complete the Administrative Record."
10/03/11 — SIRC’s legal counsel on September 26 asked for a court order requiring the government to produce documents relevant to the association’s Report on Carcinogens (RoC) legal challenge that are missing from the administrative record and others that the government has refused to produce. Find the SIRC's "Motion to Complete the Record" PDF here.
Also, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton on September 26 filed an amended schedule reversing the briefing order set August 31. Under the new order, SIRC is directed to file its motion for summary judgment by October 7. However, SIRC intends to ask the court to suspend the briefing schedule until resolution is reached on its aforementioned motion to complete the administrative record; SIRC’ legal counsel wants to review any additional documents provided in response to its motion prior to the summary judgment briefing.
09/26/11 — Composites Manufacturers Urge White House to Commission National Academy of Sciences Study on HHS Styrene Listing. Twenty-one owners and managers of composites and boat-building companies have asked the White House to press for a National Academy of Sciences examination of styrene's listing as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" in the 12th Report on Carcinogens.
09/01/11 — On August 31, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order setting the schedule for both parties’ summary judgment motions in the Styrene Information and Research Center's (SIRC's) legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS') inclusion of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The filing due dates (all 2011) are, as follows:
- October 7, government’s motion for summary judgment (MSJ);
- November 14, SIRC’s opposition to the government’s MSJ, and SIRC’s own MSJ;
- December 5, government’s reply to SIRC’s opposition to the government’s MSJ, and government’s opposition to SIRC’s MSJ, and
- December 27, SIRC’s reply to government’s opposition to MSJ.
The court also set a status conference on March 28, 2012. Access the court’s order here…PDF.
08/30/11 — On August 26, 2011, the federal government filed its answer to the Styrene Information and Research Center's (SIRC's) legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS') inclusion of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The government filed the HHS administrative record for the RoC concurrently. Both filings were in line with the litigation schedule agreed to by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. As usually is the case, the government's answer is a pro-forma response denying SIRC's allegations. The administrative record comprises some 15,500 pages submitted on a CD-ROM, introduced by a 71-page index. SIRC's legal counsel is reviewing the documents with an eye toward identifying those with titles or characterizations that may seem to be new, while confirming those that are consistent with prior versions. Request the federal government's answer to SIRC's challenge and the index to the administrative record by contacting SIRC
communications advisor Joe Walker, email@example.com or 703-491-3301...PDF.
08/09/11 — The federal government is scheduled to file on August 26 the administrative record for the National Toxicology Program (NTP) actions with regard to the listing of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens. But it is unclear to the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) what, in the government's view, constitutes that administrative record. For that reason, SIRC has served on the U.S. Department of Justice a “Request for the Production of Documents” with the goal of ensuring that all of the materials relevant to the NTP's proceedings and related Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Control actions are part of the docket before the court. The requested materials relate to issues raised in SIRC's complaint and during the preliminary injunction hearing on July 5. Access SIRC's Request for the Production of Documents... PDF.
07/22/11 — SIRC and the U.S. Department of Justice have filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia a proposed litigation schedule on SIRC’s challenge to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) inclusion of styrene in its 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule is, as follows ... PDF.
07/06/11 — Styrene Information and Research Center Statement on Denial of Motion For Preliminary Injunction to Withdraw 12th Report on Carcinogens as It Relates to Styrene. PDF.
07/05/11 — PLAINTIFFS’ REPLY TO DEFENDANTS’ OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.PDF.
06/27/11 — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has granted the Styrene Information and Research Center's (SIRC's) request for an expedited hearing on SIRC's Preliminary Injunction Motion challenging the listing of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens. The hearing is set for Tuesday, July 5, at 3 p.m. The court will hear oral arguments by both sides at the hearing.
06/16/11 — STYRENE INFORMATION AND RESEARCH CENTER, et al. Plaintiffs, v. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, et al. Defendants. Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-01079-RBW:
- PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. PDF.
- MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. PDF.
- DECLARATION OF JOHN O. SNYDER (Executive Director for the Styrene Information and Research Center [“SIRC”]). PDF.
- DECLARATION OF MICHAEL LEVY (of The Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group [PFPG], a part of the American Chemistry Council). PDF.
- DECLARATION OF JOHN SCHWEITZER (Senior Director of Government Affairs for the American Composite Manufacturers Association [“ACMA”]). PDF.
06/10/11 — Styrene Industry Will Contest Vigorously the Unwarranted Listing of Styrene in 12th Report on Carcinogens. PDF.
06/10/11 — COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief to require HHS to withdraw the 12th Annual Report on Carcinogens ("RoC") as it relates to the chemical styrene, based on HHS' failure to comply with applicable law and its own procedures, that, in turn, makes the RoC listing of styrene fatally flawed because it is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with the law. PDF.
06/10/11 — Today, The National Toxicology Program released its Report on Carcinogens, which included the substance styrene. The following statement on the safety of foodservice packaging products made from polystyrene can be attributed to Cal Dooley, CEO of the American Chemistry Council. Link to ACC statement.
05/25/11 — SIRC & ACMA Letter to HHS Secretary. PDF.
05/17/11 — Bipartisan, 63-Member House Group Asks HHS Secretary to Defer Report on Carcinogens Listing of Styrene. PDF.
05/11/11 — House of Representatives Members Ask HHS Secretary to Delay Listing of Styrene in RoC. PDF.
03/23/11 — Styrene Industry Statement in Response to Congressional Letter Questioning the Safety of Polystyrene Foodservice: Polystyrene Foodservice is Safe for Consumer Use. PDF.
03/11/11 — Styrene Industry Statement in Response to Congressional Communications Questioning the Safety of Polystyrene Cups: Polystyrene Cups are Safe; National Toxicology Program Has Taken No Position on Styrene’s Carcinogenicity. PDF.
12/29/10 — SIRC's Statement on the Cal/EPA’s Public Health Goal for Styrene in Drinking Water. PDF.
10/15/10 — SIRC Briefing Paper: Styrene’s Mode of Action (MOA). PDF.
10/12/10 — SIRC Briefing Paper: New Research Findings Show Mouse Tumors Are Not Relevant for Human Risk Assessment; Styrene Does Not Belong in NTP Report on Carcinogens. PDF.
09/30/10 — SIRC Statement on the Carcinogenic Potential of Styrene. PDF.
07/20/10 — SIRC Statement: Federal Advocacy Program on National Toxicology Program Handling of Styrene. PDF.
07/19/10 — SIRC Statement on “Identification of research needs to resolve the carcinogenicity of high-priority IARC carcinogens, IARC Technical Publication No. 42.” PDF.
03/31/10 — SIRC Statement on the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Revised Technical Support Document On a Proposed Public Health Goal for Styrene in Drinking Water. PDF.
02/26/10 — SIRC Statement on Polystyrene with Respect to Bisphenol A. PDF.
08/20/09 — SIRC Statement on Research Concerning Decomposition of Plastics in Ocean. PDF.
08/13/09 — SIRC Statement on Court’s Preliminary Ruling to Stop California from Proposition 65 Listing of Styrene. PDF.
02/26/09 — SIRC Statement on National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting, Feb. 24, 2009. PDF.
02/09/09 — SIRC Tells NTP Board of Scientific Counselors that Draft Substance Profile on Styrene Does Not Support “Reasonably Anticipated” Classification. PDF.
01/26/09 — SIRC Asks NIEHS Director to Defer NTP Styrene Review Pending Re-write of Substance Profile. PDF.
01/05/09 — Health, Safety and Environmental Benefits of Styrene Products. PDF.
11/13/08 — Styrene and Styrenic Compounds: What’s the Difference? PDF.
10/31/08 — SIRC Statement on Freedom of Information Act Request to the Department of Health and Human Services. PDF.
10/30/08 — SIRC Tells NTP that Science Does Not Support “Reasonably Anticipated” Recommendation on Styrene. PDF.
08/26/08 — SIRC Statement on IARC’s Styrene Classification. PDF.
08/26/08 — Backgrounder on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Risk Information System and Styrene. PDF.
08/26/08 — SIRC Statement on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Process. PDF.