American Chemistry Council


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EPA Chemical Office Nominee Alexandra Dunn Must Prioritize Science and Public Health

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Behind the headlines of the Trump administration’s attacks on science is a quiet army of government scientists continuing to do their jobs protecting the nation’s public health, safety, and the environment. This week, we have the opportunity to ensure a new EPA leader can carry out that mission. On Thursday, the Senate is holding a hearing on the nomination of Alexandra Dunn as Assistant Administrator to run the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the EPA office charged with protecting us from toxic chemicals and pesticides. Here’s what Senators should demand and expect her to prioritize at the EPA:

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Photo: US Air Force
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As Asbestos Toll Mounts, Trump’s EPA Ignores It

Two years ago, President Obama signed a successful bipartisan effort to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). It was called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, named for the late New Jersey senator who had long championed it. The new act was intended to give the federal government more power to regulate dangerous chemicals that the chemical industry had previously been able to shield under the cloak of confidential business information and a misplaced priority on minimizing costs to businesses over public health. Obama said those hurdles made it “virtually impossible” for the Environmental Protection Agency “to actually see if those chemicals were harming anybody.” Read more >

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Peter Wright’s 50+ Chemical Facility Conflicts: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

, Lead science and policy analyst

Peter Wright, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, will face the Senate Environment and Public Works committee at his nomination hearing this Wednesday. Mr. Wright has spent the majority of his career working as an attorney for Dow Chemical Company (now DowDuPont). Would he make a smooth transition from defender of polluters to defender of the public? Under Pruitt’s lead, it seems unlikely that public safety would be at the top of his agenda. Read more >

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Debriefing the EPA’s Science Advisory Board Meeting

, Lead science and policy analyst

I spent most of Thursday and Friday this week at the EPA’s Science Advisory Board meeting in Washington, DC, as the 44 members gathered to discuss EPA’s regulatory agenda and hear updates from EPA programs on lead, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). As I explained earlier this week, it was the first meeting for 18 of the members who had been appointed after Administrator Pruitt issued his directive barring EPA-funded scientists from serving on the committee. Read more >

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Scott Pruitt’s EPA Grant Ban Doesn’t Apply to States or Tribes. Here’s Why That’s Interesting.

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

This afternoon, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that nobody who receives an EPA grant should be allowed to provide scientific advice to the agency. Yep—those scientists, the ones that the EPA thinks do the most promising research related to public health and the environment? Their advice isn’t welcome anymore. We’ve written a lot about how this represents a major step in the political takeover of science advice at EPA. Read more >

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