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 PruittPruitt’s new problem with the GOP: Ethanol Harvard scientists: Trump environmental policies could result in 80,000 more deaths per decade Overnight Energy: New controversies cap rough week for Pruitt | Trump 'not happy about certain things' with Pruitt | EPA backtracks on suspending pesticide rule 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 CarperLawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out Dems seek watchdog probe into Pruitt’s Chick-fil-A dealings 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.