Berkey Water Systems v. EPA

August 9, 2023
Not judged
United States, Texas

Economic stakeholders
James Shepherd, New Millennium Concepts Ltd.
No description

To overturn the EPA's decision to classify the water filters produced by the company as pesticide products.
U.S. District Court of Northern District of Texas - Fort Worth Division of Texas, United States
No description

On 9 August 2023, James Shepherd, representative of the James B.Shepherd Trust, owner of the US company Berkey Water Systems, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas - Fort Worth Division against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for requiring the company to label its water filtration systems as a pesticide product.

Before 2022, Berkey Waters Systems, like all other water filter manufacturers, was able to sell its product freely, without any specific EPA regulations. In fact, a 2007 regulation stipulated that silver-based products were not classified as pesticide products if they "generate [silver] ions expressly for pesticide purposes". However, since 2022, the EPA, citing the presence of silver in the filtering system of Berkey Waters Systems products, has required the company to classify its products as pesticides. Such classification requires the company to indicate on its product packaging the potential health and environmental hazards that may result from their use, as well as precautions for use. For Berkey Waters System, such measures could have a dissuasive effect on consumers, and generate significant re-labelling costs.

In a letter dated 16 October 2013, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz wrote to the EPA in support of the company's cause, pointing out that the water filters produced by Berkey Waters System can remove the majority of chemical residues, including "eternal pollutants" such as PFASs, which are often used in the manufacture of pesticide products.It also points out that silver itself is not classified as a pesticide by the EPA or by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).