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Congress and Americans should reject corporate insider Michael Dourson

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition vehemently oppose the nomination of Michael Dourson to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In today’s hearing, we urge the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to reject Dourson’s nomination as unsafe for the American public. Moving forward with a nominee like Dourson, a clear friend to the tobacco and chemical industries, would discredit the EPA and any process the agency implements for chemical review. American families deserve better leaders than someone like Dourson, who has made a career of weakening toxics regulations.

Dourson has a history of serving the interests of big business and industry, including working for a tobacco front group, the Center for Indoor Air Research, to downplay the effects of secondhand smoke; working for DuPont to recommend safety levels for a chemical that was 150 times higher that DuPont’s own scientists and thousands of time less protective than a later EPA assessment; and working for a Koch Industries subsidiary to show no adverse health impacts to residents from a neighboring petroleum coke facility, when research by the city of Chicago found the opposite.

“What’s so insidious about this newest Trump nominee, is his false appearance of impartiality. When the likes of DuPont tout him as the best person for helping greenlight their toxic chemicals, we’ve got a serious conflict of interest issue. Not just in overseeing certain chemicals, but in overseeing anything at the EPA,” said Ansje Miller, Policy Director at CEH.

“In 2016, Congress gave EPA stronger tools to protect public health from the hazards of toxic chemicals.  The person who runs that program has to put public health first. Unfortunately, this controversial nominee has a record of putting the chemical industry first.  Michael Dourson is the wrong person for the job of running EPA’s toxics program,” said Liz Hitchcock, Government Affairs Director, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

Coming right after the appointment of Nancy Beck, a former chemical industry lobbyist, this decision casts yet another shadow over the EPA’s ability to implement the updated Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) and ensure that the chemicals in our products and environment are safe. Rather than draining the swamp, the Trump Administration is creating a ripe environment for toxic chemicals to flood the marketplace and endanger the nation’s health.

Over 100 groups across the country have petitioned the Committee to reject Michael Dourson’s nominations. Download a copy of the letter, signatories and quotes here.


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Stephanie Stohler, [email protected]

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