Trump’s EPA chemical safety nominee withdraws nomination

Trump’s EPA chemical safety nominee withdraws nomination
© Camille Fine

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) chemical safety office has withdrawn his nomination amid criticism from lawmakers about his ties to the chemical industry. 

Michael Dourson, a former chemical industry consultant, had come under increased scrutiny from Democratic and Republican senators who voiced concern about his work in the chemical industry.

He notified the Trump administration of his intent to withdraw his nomination on Wednesday.

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Dourson had worked for the EPA until 1995. After leaving he started a nonprofit group to evaluate chemical toxicity, mostly for the chemical industry.

He merged his firm with the University of Cincinnati in 2015 and became part of the faculty, but he continued to do similar toxicology assessment work.

Democrats and environmentalists criticized his work as being friendly to chemical companies and downplaying the dangers of certain chemicals.

Dourson's nomination made it through committee, but a confirmation vote before the full Senate was never scheduled.

Two North Carolina Republicans, Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Morning Report — Emergency declaration to test GOP loyalty to Trump Don’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times MORE and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump says ‘witch hunt’ must end as reports say Mueller preparing to file report Cohen to testify before Senate Intel on Tuesday Harris on election security: 'Russia can't hack a piece of paper' MORE, said last month that they would not vote in favor of Dourson, pointing to water safety concerns at Camp Lejeune in their home state.

Timothy Cama contributed to this report.