Trump’s E.P.A. Chemical Safety Nominee Withdraws


Lobbyists becoming regulators is not a good idea. This has been happening for a long lime, long before Trump, and in both parties. Generally it isn’t a good thing.

(From The New York Times)

President Trump’s nominee to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety division on Wednesday withdrew his name from consideration for the post in the face of mounting opposition.

The nominee, Michael L. Dourson, a longtime researcher whose studies often bolstered safety claims by manufacturers of pesticides, flame retardants and other products under federal scrutiny as possible public health hazards, had been working as an adviser to the agency while awaiting confirmation…

…His withdrawal followed the release of several hundreds of pages of his correspondence with chemical industry officials while he was being considered for the E.P.A. job. The New York Times obtained the emails from Greenpeace, which received them in response to a Freedom of Information request to the University of Cincinnati. A lawyer for the university confirmed their provenance.

The emails detail an unusually close relationship with the American Chemistry Council and with individual companies whose products are scheduled for priority review by the E.P.A., among them trichloroethylene, known as TCE, a volatile organic compound widely used in industrial and commercial processes, and flame retardants. The E.P.A., citing the significant health hazards of the chemical TCE, which is widely used as a degreasing agent and a spot cleaner on clothing, had proposing banning it. If he led the division, Mr. Dourson would have had to finalize that plan, even though he had recently handled work for the industry defending the commercial use of the same substance.

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