Trump’s former chemical safety nominee leaving EPA

Trump’s former chemical safety nominee leaving EPA
© Camille Fine

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE’s former nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemical safety office is leaving his job at the agency.

Michael Dourson was hired as a senior adviser to Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Interior reprimands more than 1,500 for misconduct | EPA removes 22 Superfund sites from list | DOJ nominee on environment nears confirmation EPA removes 22 cleaned-up sites from Superfund list New EPA chief liked racist Obama memes, retweeted conspiracy theorist MORE last October after a fiery confirmation hearing. The hire angered Democrats, who accused Pruitt and Dourson of trying to do an end-run around the Senate's responsibility to confirm high-ranking government officials.

He withdrew from the confirmation process in December after a handful of GOP senators announced their opposition to him, dooming his nomination, but he stayed on in an advisory role.


Now, Dourson will leave that job in the coming weeks.

“We wish him continued success in his future endeavors,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said.

Democrats vocally objected to Dourson, who worked as a toxicologist for two decades, throughout his confirmation process, citing his history of working on behalf of the chemical industries as an insurmountable conflict of interest.

Dourson's organization conducted chemical analyses for companies, industry groups, states and other clients, often publishing findings far more friendly to industry than other toxicology assessments.

“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 CarperTrump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to increase focus on maternal deaths MORE (Del.), the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said at Dourson's October hearing.

“You’re not just an outlier on this science, you’re outrageous in how far from the mainstream of science you actually are,” said Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyEPA chief calls racist Facebook post he liked ‘absolutely offensive’ Senate sends bill regulating airline seat sizes to Trump Ben Shapiro slams both parties for partisan treatment of FBI MORE (D-Mass.).

The GOP currently has one a two-vote majority in the Senate, so any Republican opposition to nominees could doom them.

GOP Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisKavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight GOP fractured over filling Supreme Court vacancies in 2020 GOP senators call for Kavanaugh FBI findings to be made public MORE (N.C.) and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel The National Trails System is celebrating 50 years today — but what about the next 50 years? Key conservation fund for parks set to expire MORE (N.C.) both came out in opposition, and a handful of other Republicans said they were leaning against him as well.

Dourson's departure was first reported by Politico.