Energy & Environment

Trump’s EPA chemical safety nominee withdraws nomination

Camille Fine

President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemical safety office has withdrawn his nomination amid criticism from lawmakers about his ties to the chemical industry.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 Tillis and Richard Burr, 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.

Tags Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency Richard Burr Thom Tillis

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