Trump to tap current EPA official for chemical safety office: report
President Trump is set to nominate a current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official widely viewed as a political centrist to lead the organization’s chemical safety office, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Trump is expected to soon announce the nomination of Alexandra Dapolito Dunn to head the agency’s Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Office, according to the Post. Dunn currently serves as EPA Region 1 Administrator, whose duties span six states in New England.
Nominated to head the region in November, Dunn previously worked for a number of nonpartisan environmental groups including as executive director and general counsel for the Environmental Council of States and work at the Association of Clean Water Administrators.
Her nomination will replace that of Michael Dourson, who in December withdrew his name from consideration for the post after three Republican lawmakers voiced their opposition to his appointment.
Dourson has a history working for a number of the chemical companies that he would have been tasked with regulating under the EPA job. His previous work as a toxicologist included consulting with the chemical industry. A nonprofit consulting group he founded produced research for chemical companies that often showed there were few human health risks associated with their products, The Post reported.
Dunn’s nomination would likely offer a less eyebrow-raising alternative as the EPA continues to weather criticism over its weakening of a number of environmental regulations including on chemicals. EPA in early August met a rash of criticism over a June proposal that environmentalists feared would lead to the import or manufacturing of asbestos– a substance tied to causing cancer.
It led to a firestorm, with news stories, denunciations and well-known figures like Chelsea Clinton and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) charging that the EPA is opening the door to asbestos — something the agency strongly refutes.
The EPA has yet to finalize an initial risk evaluation of ten chemicals, including asbestos.