Energy & Environment

Ex-Koch engineer to lead EPA office on scientific research

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A former Koch Industries chemical engineer will soon be leading the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) main office for scientific research.

David Dunlap will head the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) as a deputy chief, a role that will not need Senate confirmation, the EPA confirmed to the Hill Tuesday.

{mosads}“As a chemical engineer, Mr. Dunlap has worked on environmental issues for nearly 30 years with a focus on assessing risk. His extensive experience on regulatory issues will be pivotal in our mission to protect human health and the environment,” said EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson in a statement.

The Courthouse News Service first reported his hiring.

Dunlap previously worked for Koch Industries for more than eight years, most recently as a director of policy and regulatory affairs, according to his LinkedIn page. He described himself as a lead, wastewater and chemical expert. His LinkedIn says he started the new role at EPA in September.

Dunlap’s appointment to head the ORD comes as the EPA announced an internal reshuffling of offices within the branch.

ORD leadership announced to staff last week that it will move forward with plans to reorganize multiple offices housed under the ORD, including plans to merge two key science offices.

Offices with “similar functions” will be funneled into two new offices: the administrative-focused Office of Resource Management and the science-focused Office of Science Integration and Policy, an EPA spokesperson told the Hill.

An EPA official said the mergers will “reduce redundancies in our operations, streamline management oversight, and better align our structure with the resources we have.”

The reorganization would disband the National Center for Environmental Research, a federal environmental office that works to test the effects of chemical exposure on adults and children.

Dunlap will replace Richard Yamada, who was appointed to the role last June. The EPA would not comment on the reason for his departure. Prior to joining the agency, Yamada was a staff member on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

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