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Trump’s Pick to Head EPA Toxics Office Bad News for Children’s Environmental Health

Trump’s Pick to Head EPA Toxics Office Bad News for Children’s Environmental Health

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WASHINGTON In choosing Michael Dourson to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemicals and pesticides division, President Trump has continued his fox-in-the-henhouse approach to children’s environmental health and environmental protection, said EWG Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber.

“I’m on the other side of town from the offices of Croplife and the American Chemistry Council, but I swear I hear the faint sounds of champagne corks and confetti poppers coming from the C suites at both,” Faber said. “With Trump’s nomination of Mr. Dourson, the pesticide and chemical industries have a veritable murderers’ row inside the EPA’s offices responsible for national toxics policy.”

If Dourson is confirmed, he will join Administrator Scott Pruitt, and another long-time chemical industry representative, Nancy Beck, who, after many years as an executive at the ACC, is now the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the agency. 

“Unsurprisingly, it appears President Trump has no interest in selecting individuals who would bring scientific expertise and a commitment to children’s environmental health to these key positions at the EPA,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s senior science advisor for children’s environmental health.

After a stint at the EPA more than two decades ago, Dourson went to the other side, working closely with tobacco and chemical companies as a “scientist for hire.” Dourson’s work on behalf of the chemical industry and his various conflicts of interest have been well documented. For more information on Dourson’s cozy relationship with industry, read this blog from our colleague Richard Denison at the Environmental Defense Fund.