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 PruittOvernight Energy: EPA to make formal decision on regulating drinking water contaminant | Utility to close coal plant despite Trump plea | Greens say climate is high on 2020 voters’ minds EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Court tosses challenge to EPA's exclusion of certain scientists from advisory boards 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 CarperDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House 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.