Dem secured policy commitments from Trump environmental nominees

The top Senate Democrat overseeing environmental policy secured a number of commitments from three Trump administration nominees before the Senate confirmed this week.

In recent letters, Alexandra Dunn, the incoming head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemical safety office; William “Chad” McIntosh, the next head of the EPA’s international affairs office; and Mary Neumayr, the soon-to-be leader of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), made assurances to Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge EPA will regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water MORE (D-Del.), the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The three nominees were confirmed this week by voice vote hours before the Senate ended its final session of the 115th Congress.


In the letters provided by Carper’s staff, Dunn, currently the New England regional administrator at the EPA, made a number of commitments regarding the EPA’s implementation of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act and other concerns Carper had.

Her commitments include: certain actions to boost public transparency of the thousands of notices EPA receives from companies before they start making new chemicals, a new report on how the agency handles claims from companies that certain business information is confidential, a promise to withdraw a December 2017 proposal to reduce protections for agricultural workers and a peer review process for how the agency will evaluate new chemicals for safety.

McIntosh’s commitments revolved mainly around his office’s responsibilities to help American Indian tribes improve environmental conditions and comply with federal laws.

He pledged, among other actions, to hire a member of a recognized tribe to lead relations with tribes within his office.

Neumayr made a number of pledges on CEQ’s proposal to overhaul how it enforces the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that governs how federal agencies complete environmental reviews for projects.

Among other promises, Neumayr said that if her agency goes forward and proposes specific changes to its NEPA regulations, it will hold one public meeting on the proposal in the Mid-Atlantic region.