"Trump-era EPA appointees engaged in "considerable political level interference" on an assessment for a controversial "forever chemical," documents obtained by E&E News indicate.
But the Biden administration wasted no time in yanking that document, moving to scrub the assessment of alterations made by political appointees and restore language advocated by EPA career scientists shortly after the president’s inauguration.
At issue is a toxicity assessment for PFBS, part of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances family. PFBS is a replacement chemical for PFOS — one of the two most well-studied and controversial PFAS, due to health risks like cancer. The replacement compound, a surfactant, is used in manufacturing processes and to make stain-resistant coatings for various consumer items like clothes, among other purposes.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shed light on the agency back-and-forth over the toxicity assessment for PFBS, released in the last days of the Trump administration, only to be clawed back as soon as Biden took office. Staff conversations show the process of withdrawing and replacing the document came after a contentious publication process that saw significant input from political appointees, in a breach with agency processes."