Controversial EPA nominee already working for agency

Controversial EPA nominee already working for agency
© Getty

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 PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE, the EPA confirmed to E&E News.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

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 CarperMelania Trump's spokeswoman gets Hatch Act warning for #MAGA tweet EPA to abandon restrictions against chemical linked to climate change Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens 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.