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Controversial EPA nominee already working for agency

Controversial EPA nominee already working for agency
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A controversial nominee for a top Environmental Protection Agency post is already working at the EPA, E&E News reported Wednesday.

Michael Dourson, President Trump's nominee to head the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, is currently serving as an “adviser to the administrator,” Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA 'right to try' bill Overnight Energy: US projected to be net energy exporter | Water rule lawsuits roll in | GOP chair challenges cancer agency over pesticides States, greens sue Trump over Obama EPA water rule delay MORE, the EPA confirmed to E&E News.

An agency spokesman refused to confirm the report when contacted by The Hill.

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Democrats and environmentalists have pushed back against Dourson's nomination, given his work within the chemicals industry, which, if confirmed, he would soon regulate.

During a confirmation hearing earlier this month, Democrats highlighted Dourson’s work at the Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment group. The organization has taken industry-friendly positions on the risks posed by chemicals, Democrats alleged.

“Never in the history of the EPA has a nominee to lead the chemical safety office had such deep ties to industry,” Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA 'right to try' bill Dem senator questions EPA on stark decline in grant awards Green group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection MORE (Del.), the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, said at the time.

Dourson, however, said that he would “dedicate my mind, body and spirit to the work of this office” and enforce the chemical safety laws currently on the books.

The EPW Committee was due to vote on Dourson and five other Trump nominees on Wednesday. But Republicans postponed the vote on Tuesday night.

—Updated at 11:29 a.m.