Ex-Chemical Industry Lawyer to Lead Superfund Task Force

(From AP News)

A lawyer tapped to lead a task force at the Environmental Protection Agency overseeing cleanups at the nation’s most polluted places worked until recently for a top chemical and plastics manufacturer with a troubled legacy of creating some of those toxic sites.

Steven D. Cook has been named as the new chair of the Superfund Task Force, which EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt created last year to revamp how the agency oversees cleanups at the more than 1,300 toxic sites.

Before beginning work in February as deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, Cook served more than 20 years as in-house corporate counsel for LyondellBasell Industries — one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies.

EPA records show that LyondellBasell and its subsidiaries are listed as being potentially responsible for at least three dozen Superfund polluted sites.

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