What’s happening at EPA these days is hair-raising.
The mission of the US Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health—but EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has shown he doesn’t care about anyone’s health. Not our babies, not our toddlers, not our teenagers, not our elderly.
You worked so hard last year to pass a law that helps protect us from chemicals linked to falling sperm counts, neurological damage, and asthma. But the people being assigned to implement and enforce that law are clearly not interested in your children’s health.
- Pruitt has nominated Michael Dourson, a chemical industry consultant, to head EPA’s chemical safety office—the person responsible for protecting our families from toxic chemicals. Over the course of his career, Dourson has benefited financially from downplaying the risks of toxic chemicals, pollution and even secondhand smoke
- Pruitt is still fighting in court trying to undo mercury and other air toxic protections from coal-fired power plants. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that scrambles the developing brain of fetuses and infants.
- Pruitt has refused to ban a pesticide, chlorpyrifos, in defiance of EPA scientists, upending a plan to finally ban the chemical for agricultural and outdoor use (it was banned for indoor residential use 17 years ago). This Dow chemical has been linked to brain damage, lower IQ, and Parkinson’s disease.
Last week, Michael Dourson got one step closer to becoming the head of EPA’s chemical safety office when he was voted out of committee. We still have a chance to stop him when his nomination is taken up by the full Senate.
Dourson has built a career defending—for pay—the serious health risks of chemicals that he would be in charge of regulating at EPA. He also defiantly refused to recuse himself from future deliberations about the very chemicals he has been paid to champion. The conflict of interest is horrifying.