EPA Shifted on Toxic Chemicals as Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots

"A scientist who worked for the chemical industry now shapes policy on hazardous chemicals. Within the E.P.A., there is fear that public health is at risk."

"WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems.

So scientists and administrators in the E.P.A.’s Office of Water were alarmed in late May when a top Trump administration appointee insisted upon the rewriting of a rule to make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore regulate it.

The revision was among more than a dozen demanded by the appointee, Nancy B. Beck, after she joined the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit in May as a top deputy. For the previous five years, she had been an executive at the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association."

Eric Lipton reports for the New York Times October 21, 2017.


"E.P.A. and Toxic Chemical Rules" (New York Times)

"The E.P.A.’s Top 10 Toxic Threats, and Industry’s Pushback" (New York Times)

Associated documents (New York Times/DocumentCloud)

Source: NY Times, 10/23/2017